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Look mum, no hands!

Look mum, no hands!

Self-driving vehicles are slowly but surely becoming a reality. Imagine hushing your baby or entertaining the kids while your car is driving to the shops. Or going on a family holiday and feeling energetic and relaxed when you arrive at the destination! And no more parking in tight parking bays!

If you are in Perth, you can even become part of Australia’s very first Automated Vehicle Trial by registering on RAC’s webpage. With support of the State Government, RAC is trialling a fully driverless, fully electric shuttle bus in South Perth. Children between the ages of 7 and 14 years can also register, but they have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

As about 90% of car accidents are caused by human error, driverless cars will make roads much safer. Imagine saving on the $5 million which, according to the RAC, is currently being paid in costs relating to road trauma in Western Australia per day!

According to Rita Excell, ADVI ‘s Executive Director , the introduction of driverless vehicles will impact the lives of every Australian and transform city designs in the years ahead. “Most vehicles sit idle for 96% of the time. The introduction of driverless vehicles will make car parks, home garages and on-street parking obsolete,” she says.

Driverless car manufacturers discovered a unique problem as they tested vehicles in Australia: Kangaroos. Kangaroos in mid-flight confuse the car’s animal detection system, as these cars use the ground as a point of reference. The detection system calculates the distance between car and animal, but when the ‘roos are in mid-flight, they seem farther away than in reality.

Unmarked highways, unsealed roads and huge road trains also provide interesting challenges. Australia is, however, well positioned to be one of the first countries to introduce driverless cars.

Driverless cars are expected to provide significant economic, environmental and social benefits. It will also offer greater mobility to the wider community, thereby improving social inclusion.

The Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI) is holding its second International Driverless Vehicle Summit at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 16 to 17 Nov. 2017 to explore the impacts and requirements of this new technology in a truly Australian context.

They will also be making recommendations on ways to safely and successfully bring self-driving vehicles to Australian roads.

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