The state of Queensland has unveiled a purpose-built $1.5 million Renault ZOE2 that it says is the most advanced automated vehicle in Australia.
During a six-kilometre demonstration drive through a suburban area of Brisbane, the vehicle successfully navigated roundabouts, cross-streets and driveways.
The state’s Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said the demonstration reflected Queensland’s desire to lead the way on automated vehicle (AV) technology.
“Not only do we want Queensland roads to be AV-ready, we want Queensland industry to be AV-ready too and to create the jobs of the future right here,” said Bailey.
The specially built car will play a central role in Queensland’s Cooperative and Highly Automated Driving programme, which will travel around the state to test its readiness for automated vehicles. Members of the public will have the chance to see it in action at QUT’s upcoming Robotronica event.
“We are pleased to have supplied ZOE2 to TMR/QUT and are looking forward to working together in the fast-developing field of sustainable, shared and autonomous mobility,” said Philippe Watteau, CEO of French research consortium VEDECOM, which built the vehicle.
“Our cooperation with Queensland researchers underpins our common goal of identifying innovative mobility solutions and reinforces France-Australia strategic cooperation in the field of innovation.”
Professor Andry Rakotonirainy, Director of QUT’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety, said the research vehicle, one of the most advanced of its type, would enhance Australia’s capacity to assess the safety of automated vehicles.
“This vehicle will facilitate multidisciplinary investigations into how road users accept, adopt and cooperate with new automated systems,” said Professor Rakotonirainy.
“This highly automated vehicle will assist in identifying and addressing policy, institutional, societal and regulatory challenges to ensure their safe integration into our transport system.”