As part of our ongoing commitment to road safety, we’re working with VicRoads and RACV to trial connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) in real-world settings. The first phase of our trial will begin in August, taking place on the Monash-CityLink-Tullamarine corridor over three months. 

Trial information

The cars we’ll be using in this research – models from BMW, Mercedes, Tesla and Volvo – are already driven on Australian roads. They are considered to have level two ‘partial automation’ technology. You can also rest easy knowing there will be a professional driver with hands on the steering wheel at all times in live traffic. 

We’ll be investigating how these level two vehicles interact with our existing infrastructure, and how – over time –our road infrastructure will adapt to better support these vehicles. 

 

Level two vehicles generally include: 

  • Autonomous emergency braking – sensors identify when something is in your path and automatically brake. 
  • Adaptive cruise control – this function improves the safety of cruise control, identifying when the road conditions (traffic, weather, etc) change and adjusting your speed.
  • Traffic jam assist – through a combination of adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, this function improves safety and vehicle economy during heavy traffic conditions. 
  • Lane keep assist – sensors identify when your vehicle is about to move into another lane without indicating and steer back to a safe position in your lane. 

So what are CAVs - and are they safe?

CAVs are classed on an internationally used six-point scale of automation: beginning at zero (no automation) and increasing up to five (the vehicle’s computer monitors the environment, and controls the speed and steering without any human backup). 

At their most automated, CAVs will be fully automated self-driving cars. This technology is still in the research and prototype phase, but is undeniably the future of transport. Estimates have these vehicles being ready for market within the next decade. 

Semi-automated CAVs are already on the market and on our roads. These vehicles include features that increase safety and economise driving, but still depend on a licensed driver to control and monitor the vehicle and their surroundings.  


Want to learn more about the safety and money-saving potential of CAVs? This video from the US Department of Transport provides a great overview.