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Melbourne Will Be the First Australian City to Test Self-Driving Cars

Coming to peak hour on the Monash soon.
By Lauren Vadnjal
December 16, 2016
By Lauren Vadnjal
December 16, 2016

Over the past year or so, we've heard a lot about self-driving cars being tested overseas — Uber's doing it in the US, as is ride-sharing service Lyft, there's driverless bus in Washington D.C. and a driverless delivery service in Japan. But save for a very adorable bus launched in Perth back in September, Australia is yet to foray into the sort of terrifying world of self-driving vehicles. Until now, that is, because the Victorian Government has just announced it will start to trial driverless cars on Melbourne roads from next year.

The Andrews Labor Government yesterday announced they will partner with toll road management company Transurban to test driverless cars currently on the market to see how they interact with Melbourne's road infrastructure — that is lane signals, electronic speed signs, line markings and that pesky Montague Street Bridge. They'll be letting the cars loose on CityLink, including the Monash and Tullamarine Freeways, albeit with a real-life human driver in the car to take back control if needed.

The news that the Victorian Government is committing to a trial of self-driving cars makes their insertion into our daily lives much more plausible for the near future. Indeed, it could mean great things for people who may not otherwise be able to drive, and has the potential to reduce the amount of accidents that occur from human error.

"We want to work with the automotive and technology industries so Victoria can be at the forefront of automated vehicle technology and create jobs here in Victoria," said Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan in a statement. "Keeping people safe on our roads is our number one priority and that's why we're running these innovative trials in the safest possible way for all road users. By removing human error from the equation, autonomous vehicles will play a critical role in reducing deaths and serious injuries on Victorian roads."

The trial is set to start early next year, so if you're in Melbourne, keep an eye out for any of this.

Published on December 16, 2016 by Lauren Vadnjal

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