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Ipswich to hold vehicle automation tests

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Queensland will host Australia’s largest on-road trial of driverless and connected vehicle technology over the next four years, the State Government has announced.

The program will be based in Ipswich and involve testing vehicles and infrastructure that can communicate with one another, plus highly automated cars.

It is part of the Co-operative and Automated Vehicle Initiative and will require recruitment of 500 Ipswich motorists who will retrofit their cars with co-operative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS).

C-ITS provide safety warnings to drivers, such as when a pedestrian is crossing at a signal, if someone is running a red light and when there are queues ahead.

Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey says his department will work with Bosch to secure vehicles for tests, such as the manufacturer’s first self-driving car developed in Australia.

“Our interest in testing these vehicles is to help understand the implications for our infrastructure and drivers, and the improvements to automated vehicle performance when the vehicle can talk to other vehicles and infrastructure,” Mr Bailey said.

Bosch Australia’s Regional President Chassis Systems Control Mark Jackman says nationwide trials of highly automated vehicles will help prepare governments for when they are commercially available.

“Project’s such as these are not just vital for the advancement of road safety and public awareness, but also for the further development of technical expertise and capability of Bosch Australia engineers,” he said.

On-road testing under the Co-operative and Automated Vehicle Initiative project is expected to begin in 2019.