Australia’s first self-driving car to be tested in Melbourne

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MELBOURNE, Oct. 5 (PNA/Xinhua) — Australia’s first locally designed self-driving car will be tested for the first time on Sunday.

The roads that form the Albert Park track that hosts Melbourne’s Formula One race will be closed to the public as Bosch, an Australian automotive parts company, tests its own self-driving car technology.

Bosch engineers, who previously designed stability control and anti-lock braking systems for Ford, Holden and Toyota before the car giants shut down their Australian manufacturing, fitted a Tesla vehicle with technology they say is well ahead of current self-driving vehicles.

“What we have done is taken the vehicle as a base and all the autonomous functions, all of the advanced functions, are new,” Gavin Smith, president of Bosch Australia, said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Luke Donnellan, Victoria’s roads minister, said self-driving cars provide a great opportunity to reduce the state’s annual road toll.

“These trials are important for VicRoads (the Victorian roads authority) to identify how driverless vehicles are going to interact with the infrastructure in our local community,” Donnellan said.

Bosch hopes that level four driverless cars, cars with self-driving technology that still have a steering wheel so a human can take over if needed, using Bosch’s technology will be on the market around 2025.

Smith said just because the trial was using a Tesla, the technology should not be associated with a man in the United States when his Tesla autopilot sped into a large truck because it could not tell the difference between the trailer and the sky.

“The fact that this car looks like one that has been involved in accidents shouldn’t confuse people who see it,” Smith said.

“It looks like a Tesla but the automated driving functions are ours.”

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