Monday, 09 October 2017 10:34

Third of Victorian motorists want hands-free option in next car

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A third of the respondents to the first annual self-driving vehicle survey undertaken in Victoria say they would like to have a hands-free driving option in their next car.

This is not yet permitted on roads in the state.

A total of 15,047 motorists participated in the survey which was conducted online between 11 September and 8 October. Of this, 8576 (57%) were female and 6471 male.

vehicle powerWhile hands-free driving is expected to come in during the next few years, subject to legislation, some manufacturers are offering cars which have technology to enable keeping within lanes.

Other findings of the survey were:

  • More than half the respondents are no longer considering a traditional petrol combustion engine for their next car.
  • A third are now considering hybrid power as an option while a quarter are considering the 100% battery electric vehicle option.
  • A majority say they have very little or no knowledge of self- driving cars.
  • More than half want lane-keeping assistance (also known as highway autopilot) in their next car.
  • A majority want their next car to be connected to a data network to receive traffic and road condition warnings, vehicle security and automatic emergency assistance.

selfdrive car big

EastLink spokesperson Doug Spencer-Roy told iTWire that vehicles like the Lexus RX (seen in the photo above) were being used to test whether the onboard technology would deal with the lane markings and stay within the white lines.

He said this was done by means of cameras which could also read yellow markings. Another variable was the differential marking on left- and right-hand-drive roads.

self driving long

Spencer-Roy said feedback was sent to manufacturers and other stakeholders in the trial so that improvements could be made on all fronts.

The survey was conducted by the ConnectEast Group which manages the EastLink freeway in Victoria. Others who are associated with the project are VicRoads, the Australian Road Research Board, La Trobe University and RACV.

self driving3

Cars for the project's trials have been provided by Audi, BMW, Honda, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Tesla and Volvo.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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