Collaborating with the Government of Victoria, German automotive part manufacturer Bosch has built the first driverless car at their branch in Australia.

Bosch worked on the project with the Transport Accident Commission [TAC] and VicRoads, which has invested $1.2 million in the project. The vehicle, currently under construction in Clayton, Victoria has been designed to navigate roads with or without driver input and includes the ability to detect and avoid hazards such as pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles.

Victorian Roads Minister Luke Donnellan said the project was a step towards reducing deaths on the state’s roads when he inspected the car. Donnellan says “By removing human error from the equation, self-driving vehicles will play a critical role in reducing deaths and serious injuries on Victorian roads.”

The manufacturers say the car is 10 years ahead of its time and is at the forefront of the automated vehicle technology, having being developed in Melbourne by local engineers. Bosch president Gavin Smith says that the car itself was one of the only five built by the Bosch group worldwide.

Built over nine months and by a team of 45 people, the car is designed to navigate roads with or without driver input. The car itself is highly complicated and technically very advanced, incorporating some very sophisticated human machine interface. Some of the key features of the car include:

  • Automatic driver detection, and configuration of driver preferences (like seat position, steering wheel configuration)
  • Inbuilt sensors to detect and avoid external hazards
  • Six radars
  • Six LIDARDS (light detection and range sensors)
  • High-res GPS
  • Internal driver-monitoring cameras
  • 2km of extra copper wiring
  • Stereo video camera

Smith further said Victorians may be able to test the car over the next few days.

It will be on the roads over the following week, and we look forward to experiencing it with hundreds of additional drivers or passengers, so they too can understand what these cars are capable of.

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