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AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES FREIGHT


technology from the Australian Centre for Field Robotics and the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision. Where there is enor- mous scope for world leading application is for the iconic road trains that ply the long haul road links across the Australian outback. The combination of driverless vehicles


 The mining industry has used autonomous vehicles for some years - will the logistics sector be next?


is conducted by the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision at Queensland Univer- sity of Technology and in Victoria at the Federation University on optimisation of multiple-axle vehicle steering such as could be used for road trains, especially if they were capable of driverless operation such that the operator became the road train supervisor. In Australia we should avoid the


ances, but most important would be an enlightened investor for the develop- ment that should have good export potential. In conclusion then Australia has a


competitive advantage in cooperative mobility and autonomous vehicle tech- nology for remote areas. With the leading cooperative communications standard


reinvention of the wheel that is being undertaken on a broad front in North America, Europe and East Asia. Instead we should be looking for the competitive advantage bestowed on us by the work already underway, and the extraordinary opportunity presented by the road freight task over long, lonely single-lane roads by vehicles developed to deliver high productivity – road trains. This pro- ductivity would be further enhanced by supervised autonomous operation. The only good news for road trains is


they don’t encounter snow. They do how- ever encounter dust storms, bushfires and floods. And of course livestock and kangaroos are other hazards, especially at night.


DOWN TO BUSINESS So how would such a program work? A good question indeed, but one for which the ITS WC is ideally suited to consider. We would need a viable business model for driverless road-trains, including insur-


CONNECTED AUSTRALIA SUPPLEMENT


and cooperative mobility has the poten- tial to make a dramatic reduction in road deaths and injuries as is already recog- nised. However, an equally important role is to enhance productivity for transpor- tation of people and freight. Australia’s peak bodies in transportation and aca- demic research including the Common- wealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) are working these directions but also need to engage with the innovation from such companies as Google, Tesla and Ford to achieve the best possible outcomes. Another Australian issue relevant to


“Driverless trucks have been in use in sprawling open-cut iron ore mines for several years based on technology from the Australian Centre for Field Robotics and the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision”


IEEE 802.11p as a development of WiFi (invented in Australia) in which latency and other Quality of Service performance have been significantly enhanced, Aus- tralia’s Cohda Wireless is a leading partici- pant in this essential basis for cooperative mobility Driverless vehicles are being devel-


oped in several centres world-wide and Australian states and territories have a number of demonstrations and pilot programs underway. Driverless trucks have been in use in sprawling open-cut iron ore mines for several years based on


4


ITS is charging the increasing numbers of electric vehicles and the effects on over- all grid demand peaks and troughs. The electric supply industry is actively working to integrate renewables – wind and solar – with battery stor- age for buildings but has not yet addressed the effects of millions of electric vehicles in a few years’ time. But this is for another article… ●


 Chris Skinner, Member, Standards Australia IT-023 Transport Information and Control Systems cjskinner@acslink.net.au Christopher Skinner thought he had retired from the ITS world in 2014 after seven years lecturing on Intelligent Transport and Logistic Systems at The University of Sydney Business School Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies. Chris served for 30 years in the Australian Navy as a weapons and electrical engineering officer followed by engineering and general management in defence, aerospace, telecommunications, transport and logistics industries.


www.thinkinghighways.com


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