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EastLink announces automated vehicle trials results

Victorian tollway network, EastLink, has announced the initial results for its ongoing automated vehicle compatibility trials to facilitate safer autonomous driving on EastLink and other Victorian freeways.

The trials took place in partnership with VicRoads, the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB), La Trobe University, the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) – with the assistance of vehicle manufacturers.

EastLink trials have already been reportedly conducted with partially automated vehicles provided by BMW, Honda, Mazda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi and Volvo. The most recent technology demonstration to be completed involved a vehicle provided by Tesla.

The trials have reportedly identified real opportunities to improve the compatibility between the latest automated vehicle technologies and freeway infrastructure.

“The EastLink trials that have been underway throughout this year have identified real opportunities for vehicle manufacturers and freeway operators, including EastLink, to improve the compatibility of the latest driver-assistance technologies with Victorian freeways,” said EastLink spokesperson, Doug Spencer-Roy.

“Next, we will learn about the type of message that should be best communicated by EastLink’s freeway infrastructure to connected vehicles, and the optimum parameters for those infrastructure to vehicle communications.

“Vehicles with advanced driver-assistance technology are now being released in Australia. Within the next few years, once legislative changes are made, we expect vehicle manufacturers will activate hands-off-the-wheel driving capabilities on EastLink and other suitable freeways. These EastLink trials are producing practical results that will assist with that transition to hands-off-the-wheel driving.”

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