Science and Technology

Canberra commences a driver-centric automated vehicle trial

CAN Drive – Automated Vehicle Trial
Image source: Seeing Machines

A new intelligent transport systems vehicle trial has begun in the Australian Capital Territory, with a particular focus on the reaction of the driver as they re-assume control of the vehicle from automated driving mode. And it is looking for ACT drivers as to help carry out the testing.

The CAN Drive – Automated Vehicle Trial is being run by the ACT Government, along with its Canberra-based technology partner, Seeing Machines. It forms part of the ACT Government’s $1.35 million spend over two years on automated vehicle technology trials.

One trial, two phases

Phase one of the trial will take place in closed conditions at the Sutton Road Driver Training Centre. To quote CAN Drive’s overview of the first phase:

Phase 1 is a test track study to measure the impacts of semi-automated vehicle on driver state and behaviours. A test track provides an environment where driver behaviours and technology performance can be examined in realistic, on-road conditions whilst ensuring the driver’s safety and without risk to other road users. The trial will be conducted in different environments and under different road conditions and will focus on two main areas: Driver Engagement and Transition of Control.

Data will be collected, and will form the basis of phase two of the trial, that will take place on public roads in the ACT.

The benefits of autonomous vehicles for the ACT

“The most obvious benefit of a future that incorporates autonomous vehicles is the prospect of improving safety on our roads. On average over the last decade there have been 13 deaths per year on ACT roads, and around 700 injuries,” said Minister for Road Safety, Shane Rattenbury.

“The technology could also bring benefits to people who currently can’t drive, such as people with a disability or the elderly. Some members of our community miss out on what our city offers and we should explore any opportunity for increasing social inclusion.

“Of course driverless vehicle technology can also integrate with our public transport network, or public transport vehicles could themselves be driverless.”

Want to take part in the trial?

ACT drivers with a valid, full ACT driver’s licence (not probationary), and a good driving record are invited to take part in the trial. Up to 30 drivers will be required, across a balance of ages and gender.

Register your interest in taking part in the research by emailing Seeing Machines.

“The data we collect in trials such as CAN Drive is critical to advancing safety of communities all around the world. Automated technologies are emerging across many transport sectors and it is Seeing Machines’ goal, through our driver monitoring platform, to help advance these developments with safety as the highest priority,” said Seeing Machines Chairman, Ken Kroeger.

“The continued support of the ACT Government helps Seeing Machines sustain its leadership position as we develop our core technology to meet the needs of our partners, customers and stakeholders.”

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