A self-driving car reached Australian roads for the first time, where it was operated in Adelaide Sunday by Cohda Wireless as a demonstration of its “vehicle-to-everything” (V2X) technology. According to ABC (the Australian one), the government blocked off roads in a certain section of the city center so the vehicles could be tested with minimal interference.
Cohda used two Lincoln MKZ sedans that were modified and sent to Australia from the U.S. for its platform, which features wireless technology that allows the vehicle to communicate with infrastructure such as traffic lights.
V2X technology not only allows autonomous vehicles to “talk” to the grid, but to each other as well, helping to smooth the flow of traffic and avoid unsafe road conditions or unforeseen hazards.
"The technology provides the vehicle with an awareness of its environment and risk factors associated with it, consistently and accurately up to 10 times per second, enabling it to make decisions that a human being would not be capable of making as the driver of the vehicle," said Cohda CTO Paul Alexander in a statement.
Vehicle-to-grid technology is essential for self-driving car development, as it will significantly increase the amount of information available to each vehicle and decrease the risk of certain safety hazards.
Alexander went on to suggest the usefulness of the technology to public transportation like buses as well: “What’s exciting is that over the next year when we undertake these trials, we’re going to gather a lot more information and get a much better understanding of how this fits into our public transit network.”