Driverless Cars Trialled On Adelaide Highway

07/11/2015 12:51 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
Bloomberg via Getty Images
A member of the media test drives a Tesla Motors Inc. Model S car equipped with Autopilot in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. Tesla Motors Inc. will begin rolling out the first version of its highly anticipated 'autopilot' features to owners of its all-electric Model S sedan Thursday. Autopilot is a step toward the vision of autonomous or self-driving cars, and includes features like automatic lane changing and the ability of the Model S to parallel park for you. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Aussie motorists could be a step closer to getting behind the wheel of driverless cars, with a major demonstration of the ground-breaking technology underway.

The trial in Adelaide on Saturday is giving members of the public a look at how two autonomous Volvo XC90s handle automatic lane keeping, adaptive cruise control, and queue assist, which manages the car's position in a line of other cars.

The trial claims to be the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere, and Volvo predicts the cars could be ready for Australian roads by 2020.

The cars notched up speeds of up to 70km/h on a section of Adelaide’s Southern Expressway. They were led by a pace car in an effort to simulate regular traffic and changing conditions.

The trial is currently streaming live.

Driverless cars have been hyped to increase people's productivity, improve road safety, decrease stress and even cut down the burden of travelling vast distances in Australia.

But questions remain over whether motorists will be relaxed about handing control over to a car that drives itself, even if the vehicles are said to be so advanced they can recognise kids wearing Halloween costumes.

The ARRB (Australian Road Research Board) Group says Saturday's demo is the first in a series of research and field trials on the new technology.

South Australia wants to take the lead in the new car technology, with the industry forecast to be worth more than $90 billion globally by 2030.

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