Queensland prepares for autonomous vehicle arrival

Queensland’s preparedness for autonomous vehicles was trialled this week as the Renault ZOE2 travelled through Shailer Park, a suburb south of Brisbane.

Over six kilometres, the automated vehicle travelled on public roads, around roundabouts, and through cross streets.

The trial not only demonstrated the capabilities of the Renault vehicle but also the state’s readiness for the jobs and processes that automated vehicles are hoped to bring to the state, as Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, noted.

“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,” he said.

The Queensland government is rolling out its Cooperative and Highly Automated Driving program in the next years across the state so that roads and drivers are equipped to support the wholesale introduction of autonomous vehicles.

This future will be on display at Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Robotronica event on Sunday, August 18.

The French-built ZOE2 was developed with the support of Queensland-based researchers, a connection that CEO of the research consortium VEDCOM that built the vehicle, Phillippe Watteau, hopes will continue.

“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,” said Watteau.

The input into the program was partly provided by the iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre, as well as QUT’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q).

Having real-world trials such as those in Shailer Park will inform the broader operating environment for autonomous vehicles, as director of CARRS-Q, Andry Rakotonirainy, highlighted.

“This vehicle will facilitate multidisciplinary investigations into how road users accept, adopt and cooperate with new automated systems. 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,” said Rakotonirainy.