Connected and automated vehicle technology

Connected and automated vehicle technology is developing rapidly and can bring significant road safety and economic benefits to Victoria.

What are automated vehicles?

In an automated vehicle (sometimes known as a driverless car), one or more aspects of control (such as acceleration, braking or steering) are performed by the vehicle rather than the driver. 

There is a range of different levels of vehicle automation based on the level of driver control versus vehicle control. 

The Society of Automotive Engineers defines six levels of automation starting at level zero (no automation) and ending at level five (full automation). Level five is when the vehicle is completely in control of the driving task, with no requirement for the driver to monitor the system or the road. 

Auto Parking Assist and Highway Driving Assist are examples of partial automation currently available in some cars.  

Table - Summary of SAE International's levels of driving automation for on-road vheicles

View Summary of SAE International's levels of driving automation for on-road vehicles website


View Bosch 'Driverless Car Prototype' video (External link)

What is automated vehicle technology?

Vehicle and technology manufacturers are developing complex software that automates some or all of the driving functions of a vehicle. The vehicle can detect and analyse its surroundings through a combination of advanced sensors, GPS and computer software, allowing it to travel and navigate without the driver’s input. 

Automated vehicle technology is essentially designed to make it easier and safer for you to drive and travel on the road network.   

What is connected vehicle technology?

Connected vehicle technology allows vehicles to exchange data cooperatively with other vehicles through wireless communication. A car could exchange information with road infrastructure, public transport systems, cloud based services or with anyone that has a mobile device (such as a smartphone).

This powerful tool could be used to warn drivers about road hazards or potentially to intervene in a dangerous situation. A connected vehicle has the potential to be used in many situations that would improve traffic flow and increase the efficiency of the road network.

View Connected Vehicle: The Future of Transportation video  (External link)

Potential benefits of automated and connected vehicle technology 

Some of the benefits include: 

Improved road safety - automated vehicles have the potential to significantly reduce crashes by removing human error and other factors such as driver fatigue and distraction. 

Increased network efficiency – automated and connected vehicles are expected to improve traffic flow and create more predictable journeys through a more integrated transport network.

Increased productivity – An integrated transport network would significantly improve business productivity through more efficient travel. Automated vehicles would allow people to be more productive by using the travel time to do other things instead of driving.

Increased energy efficiency – a more integrated road network would greatly reduce energy consumption through more efficient vehicles, more efficient driving and would remove the need for traditional infrastructure. 

We’re supporting the development of automated and connected vehicle technology 

Supporting on-road testing of automated vehicles

We’re aiming to create an environment that supports the development of automated and connected vehicle technology. We’ve released a guide for vehicle manufacturers wanting to conduct on-road testing. 

A partner in the 23rd ITS World Congress

We’re a premier partner in the 23rd World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems that will be held in Melbourne in October 2016. The Congress enables industry leaders to promote and demonstrate advanced technologies. 

There’ll be many initiatives showcased at the congress, with a number of demonstrations, technical tours and special information sessions. 

You can find out more by visiting the ITS World Congress website (External link)

VicRoads ITS Grants Program 

In March 2016, The Victorian Government announced an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) Transport Technology Grants Program, aimed at industry bodies and other organisations that support innovation and the development of transport technologies and products that benefit Victoria. 

The program allows us to work with industry to develop technologies to improve traffic flow, reduce road crashes, improve integration between transport modes and improve environmental sustainability and traveller information. 

Contributing to national forums 

Austroads and the National Transport Commission (NTC) have ongoing projects to look into potential registration and licensing issues, identify regulatory barriers, and find the best way of introducing people to automated vehicles. 

We’re heavily involved in these projects and have representatives in each of the ongoing reviews. 

NTC – Preparing for more automated road and rail vehicles (External link)

Our response to the NTC Discussion Paper – Regulatory options for automated vehicles (External link)

Funding ANCAP 

We contribute to the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP). The program gives consumers advice on the level of protection provided by different vehicle models in the most common types of crashes, and how technology helps the car to avoid a crash. In Victoria, this information is used for the How safe is your car website (External link)

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) play an important role in ensuring your safety in the event of a crash. These systems provide the foundation of automated vehicles. 

Cars need ADAS in order to achieve the maximum ANCAP safety rating and because of this it plays an important role in the advancement of automated vehicle technology. ADAS are helping people become familiar with how cars can be automated now and how similar technologies could help them in the future. 

Contact us 

If you'd like more information or have any questions, please get in touch at [email protected]

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