ACT Budget to support innovation in the capital

Released 19/05/2017

The ACT is set to play a major role in the development of self-driving vehicle technology thanks to new Government investment through the 2017-18 Budget.

Together with our leading universities, the ACT Government will enter into a two year research partnership with world-leading Canberra company, Seeing Machines.

The partnership will see Canberra build on our strengths in research and innovation. Investing in trials of this new technology will help with the continued diversification of our economy and ultimately create more jobs.

As part of the $1.35 million trial, up to 40 Canberra drivers will be monitored while driving ‘level 3’ automated vehicles for up to two weeks at a time. These vehicles are capable of self-driving most of the time, but legally the driver is in control of the car. The trial will look at how quickly a driver can assume control of the car when required.  

Seeing Machines employs about 200 Canberrans and is leading the world in the development of transport technologies. This joint initiative will also include the Australian National University and University of Canberra, further demonstrating the Government’s commitment to supporting the growth of our tertiary education sector.

“This project is designed to deliver key technology outcomes for Seeing Machines and for the global automotive industry in the push towards higher and safer levels of autonomous driving,” said Seeing Machines Executive Chairman, Ken Kroeger.

“The support for this project from the ACT government allows us to expand our research footprint, attract world class engineers to the company and ultimately, deliver better safety technology to the world’s passenger cars, commercial trucks, trains and planes.”

The 2017-18 ACT Budget will see the Government delivering on the commitments we took to the 2016 election on the areas that matter most to Canberrans. We will invest in better health care through our 10-year health plan, better schools for our children and better services for our suburbs, while making the right investments to renew our city and maintain a strong local economy.

The autonomous vehicle trial governance and planning committee will be co-chaired by the ACT Government’s Local Industry Advocate, Ms Kate Lundy and Mr Glenn Keys, Chair of the Canberra Business Chamber.  

“This is a great example of developing capability within our city. It will showcase what Canberra can achieve in terms of contributing to a global challenge. Local industry will be enthusiastic to participate in and support this trial and for the many benefits which will flow to the city,” Ms Lundy said.

- Statement ends -

Section: Andrew Barr, MLA | Media Releases

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