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South Australia government clears legislative hurdles for driverless car trials

Published: September 28, 2015 | Adelaide, Australia

South Australia  State Government introduces laws allowing for trials of driverless cars on open public roads. A trial set for Adelaide’s Southern Expressway in early November doesn’t require legislative change because the road will be closed. Multiple driverless Volvo vehicles will take to the expressway to test manoeuvres such as overtaking, lane changing, emergency braking and using the on and off ramps.


The Premiere of South Australia Jay Weatherill announced the trial would take place on the Southern Expressway over two days on 7-8 November. However, the Bill to be introduced by Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan will allow autonomous vehicles to be trialled on open public roads in South Australia.

Mullinghan who visited Google’s Mountain View campus this January to watch the driverless car live, said the legislation provided safeguards, including requiring companies to submit detailed trial plans to the Government for approval. Companies will need “sufficient insurances” to protect the public, with penalties still applying if tests breach road laws beyond the scope of the trial.

The Motor Vehicles (Trials of Automotive Technologies) Amendment Bill will provide exemptions from existing laws to allow the trials of the emerging technology. According to sources, the trials in Adelaide would involve vehicles from Swedish motoring giant Volvo, with testing to be undertaken in conjunction with Flinders University, Carnegie Mellon University, the RAA and Adelaide technology company Cohda Wireless.

National independent road research agency, ARRB Group, will lead the trial.

Source: Adelaide Independent

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