Bosch to Deploy AVs in Australian Outback

Bosch to Deploy AVs in Australian Outback

Bosch has been awarded the first permit to operate autonomous vehicles in Victoria, Australia under that state’s new AV testing approval scheme.

The permit was granted by acting Victoria Premier Jacinta Allan. Bosch also received $2.3M from the national government’s Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Trial Grants Program. A statement from the state government said the vehicles operated by Bosch there would be “highly automated”, though it did not specify what level of autonomy on the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) sliding scale of autonomy they would have.

The government said Bosch is still developing the AV tech and will deploy it in Victoria later in 2019. It claimed the trial’s aim was to decrease road accident levels in rural parts of the state, which apparently are far higher than those in urban parts. If respected AV expert Bryan Reimer’s claim that the main potential causes of rural AV accidents will be “hills and curves” is true, then the vehicles should have few difficulties in the flat landscape of rural Victoria.

However, the roads on which the vehicles will be tested will have high speed limits and the government claims the AVs will be exposed “to a range of different conditions including traffic, weather, and infrastructure”. It also says the trials will be used to test the state’s infrastructural readiness for connected vehicles. Melbourne politician Meng Heang Tak claimed his community would gain “high-skilled jobs and more investment” from the trials.

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