Queensland gets ready for automated vehicles

Artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithmic technologies are fundamental to any highly automated or driverless vehicle. Partnering with experts at Queensland University of Technology’s Australian Centre for Robotic Vision, TMR will explore what these technologies mean for how we invest in our roads, during the next CAVI project phase.

The emergence of automated vehicles is posing significant challenges to how TMR is planning, delivering and managing Queensland’s road network. With a large pipeline of projects, that are developed over many years from the concept to construction, any new infrastructure or upgrades need to consider the requirements to enable safe operation of automated vehicles on our extensive transport network.

The cutthroat high-tech world of automated vehicle development, like most tech products, is tightly controlled by vehicle manufacturers and tech companies, with road agencies such as TMR left guessing the infrastructure needs. Recent Australian studies are examining the automated features of current vehicles - features which are not likely to be used by future highly automated or driverless vehicles on our roads.

The CAVI project will use an electric Renault Zoe (affectionately called ‘Zoe’) fitted with a range of automated vehicle sensor and processing algorithm technologies that are currently, and likely, to be used in vehicles going forward. ‘Zoe’ will help collect data over several thousands of kilometres of Queensland’s road network including urban and rural environments, on low and high-speed roads.

This data will be analysed to report on road infrastructure improvements to safely support automated vehicles and gain a better understanding of the implications for future upgrade strategies.

The work TMR is undertaking, in partnership with QUT and supported by the iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre, will enable other transport agencies - local, state and federal – to make informed decisions on infrastructure investment to support emerging automated vehicle technologies across Australia.

This data collection and analysis will be part of CAVI’s Cooperative and Highly Automated Driving (CHAD) pilot, which also includes the testing of a small number of cooperative and highly automated vehicles on South East Queensland roads.

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