Autonomous vehicles come to Canberra

Smart car

Canberra drivers will soon have the opportunity to take part in a world-first trial to improve safety in autonomous vehicles.

The ACT Government is partnering with world-leading Canberra tech company Seeing Machines, the University of Canberra and the Australian National University to run this unique trial that focuses on the behaviour of the driver, rather than the car.

Up to 40 local volunteers will be monitored while driving ‘level 3’ automated vehicles for up to two weeks at a time. These vehicles are capable of self-driving most of the time, but legally the driver is in control of the car. The trial will look at how quickly a driver can assume control of the car when required. 

The Seeing Machines software will monitor the driver’s facial movements and expressions to determine whether they are paying sufficient attention and sound an alert if they need to look at the road and put their hands back on the wheel. The trial will be conducted in different environments and under different road conditions.

The trial will take place over two years and is now in planning stages which includes sourcing vehicles and planning driver recruitment. 

Stay tuned for more information on how to get involved.

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