‘ZOE’ hits the road

An electric car with artificial intelligence (AI) is embarking on a 1200km road trip to pave the way for autonomous vehicles in Australia.

Fitted with state-of-the-art cameras and light detection and ranging sensors, this zero-emissions Renault ZOE is set to hit the road from February to April 2019.

Its journey is part of the Cooperative and Highly Automated Driving pilot run by the Department of Transport and Main Roads and iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre, and co-funded by MAIC. Pictured above is Matthew Waugh, Evan Dean, Neil Singleton and Vicki Vanderent from the MAIC team meeting ZOE.

Leading the expedition is Professor Michael Milford and his team of researchers from Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Australian Centre for Robotic Vision.

Researchers will drive the car across southeast Queensland to build a virtual map of our vast and varied road network. Their goal is to understand how the artificial intelligence systems interpret Australian road infrastructure (such as road markings, signage and traffic lights) and to identify areas for improvement.

“We’ll be out on the roads day and night and in all weather conditions to be sure AI is put to the ‘real world’ test,” Professor Milford says.

It’s a critical step towards building artificial intelligence in vehicles that matches or exceeds our human abilities.

“This is world-leading transport technology research and it’s happening right here in Queensland,” explained Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey.

“As researchers drive the car across Queensland, onboard sensors will build a virtual map to help refine AI-equipped vehicles to drive safely on our roads.”

This research is the first of its kind for Australia and will ensure that automated vehicles can be safely integrated into our road network.

Pictured: MAIC Insurance Commissioner and iMOVE Director, Neil Singleton, with Professor Michael Milford from QUT’s Australian Centre for Robotic Vision.

Last modified 21 February 2019