South Australia to invest AU$10 million in connected and autonomous car technology

Hot on the heels of the state of Victoria's announcement that it has partnered with Bosch to develop Australia's first self-driving vehicle, the South Australian Government has announced that it will invest AU$10 million into the testing, research and development of connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.

Launching the initiative at the 23rd World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems in Melbourne, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan said: "Connected and autonomous vehicles can deliver huge benefits to South Australia - they have the capacity to reduce congestion, save lives and help people get around our community with more freedom."

South Australia will invite creative funding proposals, aimed at speeding up the development of connected and self-driving technology, from businesses, industry bodies, research institutions and other organisations.

The initative will focus on three areas: 

  • Autonomous vehicle testing and demonstrations – organisations will be able to propose vehicle and technology tests, both in laboratory conditions and in a real-world environment. 
  • Connected vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure pilots and demonstrations – the state is inviting pilot projects and demonstrations of how the latest technology can be used in infrastructure and vehicles.
  • Research and development – projects will also be considered that aim to enable and accelerate the development and take-up of autonomous and connected vehicles.

"We are looking for creative proposals that will accelerate the roll-out of these technologies on our roads and open up new opportunities for South Australian businesses and our economy," said Mullighan.

Applicants in South Australia will be able to work with overseas partners, but all projects must take place in the state to be eligible for funding.

"It is estimated that the driverless vehicle industry will be worth $90 billion globally by 2030," said the minister. "Getting our State involved early will open up new opportunities for South Australian businesses and our economy."

Earlier this year, South Australia became the first Australian state to bring in laws allowing for on-road driverless car trials.