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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on February 11th, 2017 | by Cynthia Shahan

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Victoria Starting Autonomous Vehicle Trials On Public Roads (Australia)

February 11th, 2017 by  


I believe, like many, we are headed toward a future of self-driving technology, autonomous cars. That technological transformation on roads will save countless lives. Every day, I see tragic human error on the road. Yesterday, a car pulled out in front of me as I went through a green light — with lines of traffic behind me. Thankfully everyone stopped as I did. Five minutes later, I saw a truck that did stop rush hour traffic — wrapped around a road sign.

Technology from Tesla will be at the heart of this transition. The company’s work reducing road trauma through physically safer cars and also autonomous driving features is top of the field. As in many places, Australia is actively inviting the future, with Victoria leading the way via autonomous vehicle trails — on specific roads.

The Premier of Victoria reports that 90% of auto accidents result from human error. The number of lives that will be saved from good autonomous features in cars, and finally fully self-driving vehicles, is hard to estimate, but imagine the avoided paralysis, death, lost organs, etc., from the reduction in accidents.

“Autonomous vehicles have enormous potential to make our journeys safer and more efficient and to help the community to travel far more easily, including people with limited mobility,” the Premier of Victoria states.

If you want to see a video report of the governmental Yahoo 7News featured a nice video report on the integration away from a controlled environment on Victoria freeways, which used several cuts of Tesla cars and tech.

Here are some more notable points from the Victoria government’s report of the self-driving testing:

VicRoads will engage with industry to seek feedback on the Labor Government’s Future Directions Paper, which outlines the need for regulatory changes to allow testing of highly automated vehicles on our roads.

The consultation will focus on how to ensure road safety during testing on public roads, what constitutes a driver ‘being in control’, and understanding how the changing technology will interact with our transport system.

It will also work to create a framework to allow for a wide range of vehicles to be trialled on Victoria’s roads, potentially including highly automated vehicles, where a driver is not in control of the vehicle.

From early [2017], a range of automated vehicles will be trialled on the Monash-Citylink-Tullarmine corridor, in a partnership between the Labor Government and Transurban.

The trial will test vehicles currently on the market, to understand how autonomous vehicle technology interacts with road infrastructure including overhead lane signals, electronic speed signs and line marking.

As in other cases, a human driver will be present even in fully self-driving vehicles being tested in order to take over in case anything unexpected happens and the technology isn’t up to the task.

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About the Author

Cynthia Shahan started writing by doing research as a social cultural and sometimes medical anthropology thinker. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education. Eventually becoming an organic farmer, licensed AP, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)



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