Driverless car demos in Australia
To prove self-driving cars aren’t as frightening as people may think, an Adelaide-based company has demonstrated how they could function in real-world conditions.
Australian company Cohda Wireless has developed V2X (Vehicle-To-Everything) software to connect autonomous vehicles with infrastructure and pedestrians to “make streets, cities and working environments safer, smarter and greener”.
A section of Flinders Street in Adelaide’s CBD was blocked off for the Cohda Wireless demonstrations to take place with support from the Government’s Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure’s Future Mobility Lab Fund.
Two cars were used for the demo - one driven by a human - and the other, a connected autonomous vehicle. The demonstration took place in an “urban canyon” where positioning through GNSS can be off by about 40 metres due to poor satellite connection.
Replicating a common scenario, the demonstration had two vehicles approach a four-way intersection at right angles to each other. The human-driven car intended to ‘skip’ the red light through the intersection in front of the autonomous vehicle, causing a risk of collision.
In this instance, the autonomous vehicle was able to use the Cohda Wireless technology to locate the human-driven vehicle, deciding that danger was present, therefore causing it to stop before a collision was imminent.
Paul Alexander from Cohda Wireless says the V2X technology allows vehicles to ‘speak to each other’ to extend their perception horizon.
“Our goal today was not only to demonstrate the efficacy of our technology in enabling vehicles to communicate with each other, but also to do so in a city environment where so-called ‘urban canyons’ significantly affect the ability of systems reliant on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) to achieve accurate positioning,” he says.
“The role of technology in making our roads safer is probably not generally understood but we hope that this demonstration has helped to prove that with the appropriate technology and infrastructure, connected self-driving vehicles deployed on our streets are at less risk than vehicles controlled by human beings.”