500 Ipswich motorists will be the first to test self-driving vehicle called Zoe

Ipswich motorists are being encouraged to be among the first participants of the Cooperative and Highly Automated Driving (CHAD) pilot program in Bundamba from Monday.

The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is preparing for the arrival of advanced vehicle technologies through on-road demonstrations, testing and research, based at Ipswich.

Up to 500 members of the community will have the opportunity to experience an on-road demonstration of automated driving, using the TMR’s Level 4 connected and automated vehicle (CAV), known as ZOE2.

ZOE2, a highly automated research prototype vehicle, will provide participants with a “self-driving” technology experience in action, navigating real traffic on suburban roads, around the TAFE Queensland Ipswich Campus at Bundamba during March to May.

TMR is working closely with Ipswich City Council on this pilot program and others.

Acting General Manager of Infrastructure and Environment Cathy Murray said this is the first opportunity in Australia for members of the public to experience a vehicle operating in automated mode, on public roads, in normal traffic.

“We strongly encourage Ipswich residents to get out and experience a drive – or non-drive – in a level 4 autonomous vehicle. It is an exciting opportunity,” Ms Murray said.

The demonstrations will provide a “hands-off” opportunity for community members to experience the vehicle and its functionality, raise awareness of the technology (including the benefits and limitations), build confidence in the technology and encourage future use.

They are also designed to provide people with information about connected and automated vehicles and increase their understanding of such vehicles.

Groups of three people will be able to take part for the 15-30-minute rides. Eligibility requirements will need to be met by interested participants.

The demonstrations are offered free of charge, with those interested needing to register in advance at

The ZOE2 demonstrations come as Ipswich prepares for the country’s largest connected vehicle pilot later this year, which is another exciting safety technology that will be available in vehicles soon.

Connected vehicles will ‘talk and listen’ to other connected vehicles and roadside infrastructure, notifying the driver to avoid hazards and congestion. More information about connected vehicles is available here:

The pilot will see up to 500 residents retrofit their vehicles with connected technology, allowing them to receive real-time information about the road and warnings messages.

Roadside equipment is already installed at 30 intersections in Ipswich in preparation for the pilot, and TMR has expanded its testing phase to make sure it is pilot ready with every aspect right before retrofitting public participants’ vehicles with the equipment.

Details of the connected vehicle pilot and how the community could apply to be among the 500 will be announced later this year.

Read more

>>>Ipswich hosts Australia’s largest intelligent vehicle trial

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