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Queenslanders have their say on Autonomous and Cooperative Vehicles

More than 1900 Queensland road users responded to the Help CAVI get Savvy public survey which was designed to find out what people know and understand about emerging vehicle technologies, what they see as the benefits of these vehicles, and if they would use them in the future.

The survey results, and information on motorists’ experiences with various vehicle technology - including safety assist technologies such as forward collision warning and lane keep assist - will be used by TMR to develop and test project communication materials including in the lead up to pilot projects.

The online survey was open to all Queensland road users with an open or provisional licence, with the majority of responders living in South East Queensland.

Initial results, analysed by TMR’s Customer Experience Team, showed that while awareness of autonomous vehicles was almost universal, only 28 per cent of responders were aware of cooperative vehicles.

Cooperative vehicles are those that can “talk” to each other, roadside infrastructure and road operations cloud-based data sharing systems via in-vehicle cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) devices, with the driver in control at all times.

Autonomous vehicles take technology further, they have inbuilt sensors to track the road environment, and some driving controls like steering, accelerating and braking are automated for a sustained period of time.

More than seven out of ten respondents agreed their chances of having a crash would be lower if they used a cooperative vehicle. Over three quarters (77 per cent) of motorists would be willing to use a cooperative vehicle in the future.

However, with automated vehicles, respondent’s willingness to use an automated vehicle reduced as the level of automation, or automated driving level, increased. Automated driving levels - which consider what role the human driver has and if the human is in-the-loop or not - are often used to define the level of automation in vehicles.

Levels of automation range from no automation of driving controls (level 0), through to automated applications that assist the human with the driving task (level 3), to fully and highly automated vehicles that can drive themselves (level 5).

Seventy five per cent of responders considered level 3 automated vehicles to be safer than their current vehicle, with 73 per cent of responders expressing willingness to use a level 3 vehicle in the future. However, just 54 per cent would be willing to use a level 5 automated vehicle.

Results from the survey will inform TMR’s preparation for C-ITS Pilot project. The pilot will involve around 500 private and fleet vehicles retrofitted with C-ITS devices, and will be in Ipswich in 2019.

The C-ITS Pilot project is part of the larger Cooperative and Automated Vehicle Initiative (CAVI) being delivered by TMR to help prepare for the arrival of new vehicle technologies with safety, mobility and environmental benefits on Queensland roads.

The CAVI project will also include the testing of a small number of cooperative and highly automated vehicles on South East Queensland roads, as well as investigate options for utilising these emerging technologies to benefit pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders.

For more information on CAVI and the upcoming pilot visit www.qld.gov.au/cavi