Bosch gets green light for automated vehicle tests

Program to focus on improving safety on rural roads

Bosch is the first recipient of a permit under Victoria’s new Automated Driving System (ADS) scheme.

The permit will allow the company to test highly automated driving systems on Victorian roads, with the company expecting to begin trials in rural parts of the state later this year.

The company has received $2.3 million under the government’s Connected and Automated Vehicle Trial Grants Program, which is part of the broader $1.4 billion Towards Zero Action Plan.  The Bosch trial is specifically focused on improving safety on rural roads.

In late 2017, VicRoads sought applications for CAV grants. The state government said it expects to announce other successful applicants soon.

“Bosch is a proud leader in vehicle safety systems and is eager to commence this trial with technologies that will show how we can improve road safety and reduce road trauma on rural roads,” said the president of Bosch Australia, Gavin Smith.

The National Transport Commission (NTC) and Austroads in 2017 jointly released national guidelines for trials of automated vehicles on Australian roads.

The guidelines were intended to provide a consistent approach to trials across Australia while still being flexible in order to apply to a range of autonomous technologies.

In May last year Australia’s transport ministers agreed to take a uniform legal approach across states and territories to vehicles equipped with automated driving systems.

Australia has already hosted a range of trials involving autonomous vehicle systems.

A six-month trial involving a self-driving shuttle bus recently launched in Adelaide. The trial involves an eight-seater electric shuttle bus performing a one-kilometre route through Glenelg, stopping at two high-tech bus stops, developed by US company Local Motors and South Australia’s SAGE Automation.

NSW pushes electric cars

The NSW government today unveiled details of its electric and hybrid vehicle plan.

The government said the plan would include a $3 million co-investment on fast charging points in “major regional corridors” as well as $2 million for new charging points in commuter car parks.

“More people are embracing electric and hybrid vehicles and we need to do our part to ensure we have the infrastructure in place so that people are confident to use these vehicles right across the state,” said transport and infrastructure minister Andrew Constance said.

“That’s why we’re planning fast charging points for major regional corridors including the Newell, Great Western, New England, Pacific and Princes Highways and the Hume Motorway.”

NSW is aiming to have 10 per cent of new government fleet vehicles being electric or hybrid from 2020.

Updated to correct the size of the grant to Bosch.