Driverless cars to be tested on South Australian roads

Driverless cars will be tested on South Australian roads in November as part of a trial backed by the South Australian government.

The trials were announced today by road research agency ARRB Group.

Volvo, Telstra and Bosch are supporting the trials, which will coincide with a South Australian conference on driverless vehicles.

"The advent of driverless cars is an opportunity to foster technological innovation and revive Australia’s manufacturing industry – the South Australian Government has been quick to recognise this," said ARRB Group managing director Gerard Waldron.

"ARRB will establish how driverless technology needs to be manufactured and introduced for uniquely Australian driving behaviour, our climate and road conditions, including what this means for Australia’s national road infrastructure, markings, surfaces and roadside signage," Waldron said in a statement.

In the future trials will also be conducted in other states and territories, ARRB said.

The South Australian test drive forms part of ARRB's Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative.

The project envisages a five-stage plan to introduce driverless vehicles to Australian roads. Autonomous vehicles could slash road accidents and help tackle congestion, according to the organisation.

Internationally, the highest profile self-driving vehicle tests have been those conducted by Google though car makers are also testing the technology.

In May, Google announced a number prototype vehicles would be taking to Californian public roads this year after several years of tests: In 2012 Google received a state licence from Nevada for self-driving cars.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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