Cooperative and Highly Automated Driving Safety Study
Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads is conducting a Cooperative and Highly Automated Driving (CHAD) Safety Study. It will secured a cooperative and (highly) automated vehicle (CAV) prototype, research platform and local expertise base, to conduct a comprehensive safety study to inform government policy and direction.
This iMOVE project is intended to prepare for the arrival of CAVs with safety, mobility, and environmental benefits on Australian roads.
CAVs offer potential to significantly reduce accidents due to human error; however, they also introduce new safety challenges.
To date. this project has provided a core research platform – comprising a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Level 4 Electric CAV prototype, which is being used to deliver a safety study that explores a range of CAV impacts and benefits.
Four Work Packages (WP) are laying the technical and human factor foundations for safe introduction of CAVs to Australian roads – providing an evidence-base to support government policy and decision-making and future CAV development by industry.
The study will develop recommendations regarding how to make CAVs and associated infrastructure more resilient to road safety risks, as well as to increase public awareness about CAV to encourage uptake and benefits realisation.
The four work packages are:
- Driving task handover in automated vehicles (AVs): Evaluate safety impacts of handover between the vehicle and driver in complex situations and recommend good practice guidelines for the human machine interface.
- Cooperative and Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) and automated vehicle (AV) integration, and benefits evaluation: Design and test AV responses to cooperative intelligent transport system (C-ITS) use cases and evaluate AV performance improvements and safety benefits.
- Australian safety challenges for CAVs in the dynamic road environment: Identify Australian-specific safety-critical (‘risky’) scenarios relating to the interaction of CAVs with other road users; determine potential mitigations and test mitigation for one scenario on-road.
- CAV public awareness and demonstrations: Build public understanding and awareness of CAV through public demonstrations, displays, and a targeted public awareness campaign.
Additionally, two support packages will look at safety, legal and ethics for permitting experiments/demonstrations associated with WP1 to 4 and database management relating to design, build and maintenance of IT infrastructure for data collection and analysis, particularly for WP3.
There is also another iMOVE project that is part of the CHAD program, How Automated Vehicles will Interact with Road Infrastructure.
Highly automated vehicles – Levels 3 to 5 per SAE International definitions – are being increasingly trialled and demonstrated on Australian roads in preparation for deployment, which vehicle manufacturers are stating will occur over the next decade.
A key driver of AV development and deployment is safety, due to the potential to reduce or eliminate human error. The uptake of increasingly automated vehicles is an emerging opportunity to improve the safety of the Australian vehicle fleet.
However, the deployment of AVs on public roads, particularly during the transition phase when there is a mixed fleet of non-automated and partially automated vehicles, also raises new safety risks – which are heightened due to the new and emerging nature of the technology.
In Australia, the focus has been on shuttle bus demonstrations (for example, Navya, Easymile). These support public engagement and can help inform policy and regulatory issues for the shuttles’ specific operational domain (less than 15 km/h speed). However, these vehicles are not cooperative, generally not Australian Design Rules (ADR) compliant, provide no access to vehicle data for analysis, and are too small or lack focus to assist in understanding the vehicle’s safety.
This iMOVE project will help fill this gap by providing a CAV prototype that is more than just a demonstration vehicle – it is a research platform that will be used to support a range of research activities on CAV. This research will provide data-driven information to support government decision-making and positive public sentiment regarding safe introduction of CAVs to Australian roads.
The CAV prototype will be used to support a program of research (through this iMOVE project and beyond) that addresses the following global questions regarding the safe progressive introduction of CAVs into real-world traffic environments, and associated challenges:
This project will explore the following:
Relation and interaction between road users (WP1)
- What are the driver or operator behaviours in a CAV during handover of vehicle control?
- Can we increase CAV’s acceptability and trust and minimise errors and misuse with a set of human machine interface (HMI) guidelines?
Integration of C-ITS and AV technologies (WP2)
- How do we integrate standards-based C-ITS information with the AV safety functionality?
- Does safety performance improve by utilising C-ITS in an AV?
Performance requirement and benefit evaluation (WP3)
- What are the unique Australian scenarios which a future CAV will need to interact with?
- Identify potential mitigations for one of the identified Australian scenarios.
- How can the acquired knowledge help us to improve the impact of CAV on driver awareness and define future messaging strategies?
- How can we assist policymakers in gaining a greater understanding and awareness of road users’ response to, and operation in or interaction with, a CAV?
The objectives for TMR’s CHAD Pilot are as follows:
- validate the impacts and benefits and user perceptions
- demonstrate technologies and build public awareness and uptake
- grow government’s technical and organisational readiness
- encourage partnerships and build capability in private and public sectors
UPDATE: August 2019
In the suburb of Shailer Park (South of Brisbane), Minister Bailey took a ride in ZOE2 in automated driving mode over approximately six-kilometre route through live traffic conditions. The demonstration successfully showed ZOE2’s capability to negotiate roundabouts, intersections, up/down hills and turns at speeds of up to 50 km/h. This was Australia’s first demonstration where an automated vehicle negotiated real traffic conditions at speeds of up to 50 km/h.
UPDATE: 15 October 2019
The Cooperative and Highly Automated Driving Safety Study project has been nominated in the Automated Vehicle Award category at the 2019 ITS Australia Awards. Read more at Queensland’s ZOE2 automated car up for award.
We’ve also added an image gallery of the ZOE2 vehicle.
UPDATE: 21 November 2019
The Cooperative and Highly Automated Driving Safety Study project was a shared winner of the Automated Vehicle Award at the 2019 ITS Australia Awards. It shared the prize with Transport for NSW’ Busbot trial, the Cooperative and Highly Automated Driving Safety Study. Congratulations to both!
UPDATE: March 2020
Between 16 March 2020 and 20 March 2020, as part of WP4, a total of 73 public participants were able to experience on-road automated driving. In line with Australian Government and Queensland Health advice relating to measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, demonstrations were halted as of 23 March 2020. During the demonstration ZOE2 drove public participants through a roundabout, public carpark, unmarked roads and a u-turn at a cul-de-sac
UPDATE: August 2020
The 2020 intake of the QUT Young Accelerator Program student internship recently had the chance to learn about, and have a look over, ZOE2.
UPDATE: March 2021
CHAD WP1 experiments started at the RACQ Mobility Centre of Excellence, Mt Cotton. Up to 70 members of the public will participate in the experiments where they will be seated in the driver’s seat while ZOE2 drove them for about 30 mins in automated mode. The participants were encouraged to engage in non-driving tasks (such as read a book or use their mobile devices) when ZOE2 drove them on test track.
UPDATE: May 2021
ZOE2 delivered a static demonstration at the Charleville Show, as part of WP4. Members of the public were also offered an opportunity of experiencing a virtual reality drive in ZOE2. While at Charleville, ZOE2 collected data to determine how an automated vehicle would interact with rural and dirt road features such as cattle grids, road trains, wildlife, and railway level crossings.
UPDATE: August 2021
ZOE2 delivered a static demonstration at the Gold Coast Show, as part of WP4. The demonstration included research into public perception before and after watching a video message.
UPDATE: September 2021
ZOE2 started collecting data some 11,000 Kms of driving data for the WP3. Most data collection activities focused on vehicle interaction with Road Trains and driving on narrow rural roads.
UPDATE: June 2022
ZOE2 took on its first regional exhibition as part of WP4, taking Bundaberg residents on a 12-minute route around the city’s streets. Below is a short video of the public trial from 7 News Wide Bay and includes a few words from Queensland’s Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey
Bundaberg locals have the chance to take a joy ride with a twist – there's no one behind the wheel. The $3.5 million project is putting the future of driver-less travel to the test. https://t.co/kDhhmxW7P8 @SBennallack #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/djVSwgz3TA
— 7NEWS Wide Bay (@7NewsWideBay) June 1, 2022
UPDATE: August 2022
ZOE2 was part of the Department of Transport and Main Roads’ display at the ITS Australia Summit 2022 in Brisbane. The Summit included a strong industry presence over three days, which provided an excellent platform to showcase the project work to date. ZOE2 was also used to provide VIPs with dynamic demonstrations through Bundamba (in Ipswich) as part of the technical tours preceding the Summit.
UPDATE: October 2022
ZOE2 was displayed at the Sunshine Plaza, Maroochydore, as part of WP4. CHAD technical team members were at hand to explain public about the technology behind the automated vehicles.
UPDATE: February 2023
Amit Trivedi was interviewed about the Cooperative and Automated Vehicle Initiative (CAVI) project on ABC Radio. He talks about the project in general, findings from the Bundaberg trial, and what’s ahead, for both connected and automated vehicles and CAVI. Click here to listen to the interview.