Hi-tech roads for an even higher-tech tomorrow
Our roads are some of the most sophisticated in the world, fitted out with millions of pieces of technology to ensure the road runs smoothly and safely (go here for more on road safety). CAVs will benefit from roads that can ‘talk’ to them, providing vital information about what’s happening around them and ahead, beyond the range of their own sensors.
As a first step to preparing our roads for a CAV-driven future, we’ve trialled various types of CAVs on our motorways, to investigate the technology and the issues and opportunities specific to our road infrastructure. This includes trials of partially automated vehicles already on the road today, highly automated vehicles, connected vehicle communications (platooning), remote operation of automated vehicles and automation of vehicles for specific road operations/maintenance tasks.
Our most recent trial involves an automated truck travelling on CityLink (Melbourne), using its automated driving technology. As well as testing how the truck’s sensors interpret our road infrastructure this Australian-first trial is also testing how our road technology shares its real-time traffic data with the truck.
Data from these and other trials will help us understand how CAVs can safely handle dynamic scenarios on motorways such as incidents and roadworks.
We’ve also been talking to people about CAVs and getting a sense of community attitudes towards the arrival and use of CAVs. It’s been an interesting experience so far—take a look at what we’ve been learning below.
Going forward, we’re continuing to explore opportunities for commercial adoption of more highly automated
CAVs, along with innovations in technology and road operations to support their safe introduction.