Commissioner tests Australia’s most automated vehicle

Neil sitting inside ZOE 2 a small white car

Could you imagine getting in the driver’s seat of a purpose-built ‘smart car’ and letting go of the steering wheel?

The Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) is proud to support the Department of Transport and Main Roads, iMOVE Australia, and the Queensland University of Technology in their world-class automated vehicle (AV) work that is identifying the impacts of introducing cooperative and automated vehicles (CAV) on Queensland roads.

MAIC Insurance Commissioner, Neil Singleton recently took part in an exclusive road test at the RACQ Mt Cotton track to ‘drive’ one of Australia’s most automated vehicle – ZOE2.

“Being able to experience the pioneering automated vehicle technology first-hand at the QUT trial to investigate driver behaviour was fascinating,” Mr Singleton said.

“This trial provides crucial insights into how long it takes for a motorist to return to driving competently when the car’s automated systems hand back control.

“MAIC is committed to improving road safety and reducing the instances of road crashes and this catalytic work in the automated vehicle space will provide safer roads for all Queenslanders.”

ZOE2 is a purpose-built smart car fitted out with the latest high-tech sensors, LIDAR, cameras, computers, and software that continually monitor the driver and surrounding environment to deliver a truly autonomous, hands-free ‘driving’ experience.

“ZOE2 is a level four autonomous vehicle that doesn’t require a human to input driving actions, even in an emergency.” Mr Singleton said.

“During my 30-minute test drive, I experimented with switching to AV mode. In unsafe situations ZOE2 won’t switch—such as driving on the wrong side of the road, not driving in a straight line, or going over 50kph.

“If the driver of the vehicle does not take control when instructed by the onboard computer, ZOE2 pulls over to the side of the road and stops.

“I found myself trusting the car and this world-breaking technology very quickly. We’re genuinely excited to watch the technology evolve and become more accessible to all road-users in the coming years to ultimately provide safer vehicles and make our roads safer,” Mr Singleton said.

ZOE2 is proudly supported by MAIC as part of a TMR, iMOVE Australia, and QUT collaboration: the Queensland Government’s Cooperative and Highly Automated Driving (CHAD) pilot.

CHAD will continue to travel throughout Queensland to explore how road users accept and interact with new automated vehicles. This pioneering pilot will help identify the impacts of introducing cooperative and automated vehicles (CAV) on Queensland roads and highlight the interaction of road infrastructure between digital infrastructure, road users, and driver behaviours.

Learn more about ZOE2

Last modified 6 April 2021


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