According to the Australian Financial Review today, the possibility of driverless cars in Australia has cleared a major hurdle to becoming a reality with automated vehicles due to hit the streets of Adelaide in November as part of the country's first-ever road trials.
The trials follow a collaboration between car manufacturer Volvo and technology partners Telstra and Bosch. They will be co-ordinated by the Australian Road Research Board and supported by the South Australian government.
ARRB managing director Gerard Waldron said the trials were to promote the emerging industry of driverless cars to attract the funding and interest required to make it happen in Australia.
Many cars on the market already had driverless car features, such as automated parking and Mr Walton believed it would take less than three years for driverless cars to be roaming the streets in Australia, and another 10 years before car companies were mass producing vehicles without steering wheels.
"This trial presents a fantastic opportunity for South Australia to take a lead nationally and internationally in the development of this new technology and open up new opportunities for our economy," South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said.
The trial will take place around Tonsley Innovation Park, the Southern Expressway and at Adelaide Airport, using Volvo XC90 cars.
The Adelaide trials will be on November 7 and 8 as the race for a driverless car reality revs up.
Similar trials had already been held in the United States, Britain and Sweden.
Earlier this week, a group of companies led by Toyota invested $10 million to develop a testing ground for driverless cars at the University of Michigan in Detroit.
Volvo and Toyota were not the only car manufacturers vying for the driverless vehicle market. Audi would have a driverless A8 luxury limousine available by 2017 and Nissan announced plans to sell driverless cars by 2019. Ford also intended to sell "fully autonomous vehicles" by 2020.
But the traditional car manufacturers would also face steep competition from technology giant Google, which had been investing hundreds of millions into self-driving cars for years.
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