Australia to start autonomous trials

An Australian state is set to begin autonomous vehicle trials for its airport and one of its public universities.

The South Australian Government has announced AU$5.6m in funding for driverless shuttle and pod trials to take place in its capital Adelaide.

This will include $1m for Adelaide Airport to trial three electric driverless shuttles operating between the long-term parking lot and the terminal.

An additional $1m will go to Flinders University, which will collaborate with the Royal Automobile Association of South Australia (RAA) on a three-year $4m driverless shuttle project to transfer students from public transport to its Bedford Park campus.

Another $1m has been awarded to international driverless car supplier RDM Group to begin transporting goods at Adelaide’s Tonsley innovation precinct, with the aim of developing a market-ready autonomous delivery pod within a year.

The projects are part of State Government’s $10 million Future Mobility Lab Fund to drive local development of autonomous vehicle technology.

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan said the state’s Australian-first driverless car trials, autonomous car on-road laws and international Driverless Car Conference paved the way for the new projects.

RDM Group chairman, David Keene said South Australia was the ideal place to lead the development of driverless car technology. ‘The funding will accelerate one of these exciting ventures and we are looking forward to working with the Tonsley Innovation Precinct to deliver one of the world’s first driverless cargo pods,’ he said.