Victoria to Allow Trial of Driverless Cars on Country Roads

Victoria has sanctioned a trial of driverless cars on rural roads in a bid to improve the dramatically more dangerous conditions outside urban areas. The automated vehicle technology is being developed by Bosch as part of a $2.3m state government grant and will be tested on high-speed rural roads later this year.

“This trial is an exciting step towards driverless vehicles hitting the road,” the acting premier, Jacinta Allan, said.

Bosch has been granted the state’s first permit to allow automated vehicles for on-road testing, with other successful applicants to be announced soon. The tests will expose the vehicle to a range of conditions, such as weather and traffic, with the aim of improving safety on rural roads.

“The tragic fact is that you’re five times as likely to be killed on a rural road than in the city. That’s why we’re rolling out a record roads investment in rural Victoria, and this is another way we can improve safety and save lives,” Allan said.

Bosch Australia president Gavin Smith said the firm was eager to start the trial, showing how technologies could improve safety and reduce trauma on rural roads.

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