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An experimental, advanced self-driving version of the new 2015 Volvo XC90 has debuted in Adelaide today, ahead of this weekend’s Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI) tests.

Announced earlier this year, the ADVI will be the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere, billed by the South Australian government as a landmark event that invites interest from an industry projected to be worth $90 billion annually within the next 15 years.

“By making South Australian an attractive destination for global firms to test, develop and trial their technology on Australian roads we are telling the world that South Australia is open for business,” transport minister Stephen Mullighan said today.

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Volvo, as a key partner, has shipped one of its specialised new XC90 SUVs equipped with the same Intellisafe Auto Pilot system that will be trialled by citizens of Sweden’s Gothenburg in 2017.

Intellisafe Auto Pilot previews Volvo’s vision for the driverless car of the future, allowing motorists to surrender control on sections of road marked as safe and ready for autonomous vehicles.

Fulfilling the dream of hands-free commuting, the ‘driver’ is then free to direct their attention elsewhere – if, that is, the legislation of the country or state in question allows for occupants of autonomous vehicles to go hands- and attention-free.

Volvo Australia managing director Kevin McCann said today that bringing the prototype driverless XC90 to Australia, in partnership with ADVI, highlights the carmaker’s commitment to safety.

IntelliSafe Auto Pilot interface

“Autonomous Drive technology is already available in many cars in the Australian market,” McCann said.

“It is important that collectively as an industry we strive to educate the public regarding this development and importantly encourage government to make the necessary regulatory changes to facilitate the introduction of autonomous drive vehicles to Australian roads.

“For Volvo Cars, autonomous driving is a natural evolution from years of leadership in development of safety technology.”

MORE: Volvo IntelliSafe Auto Pilot driverless tech previewed – video
MORE: XC90 news, reviews, pricing and specs
MORE: South Australia prepares driverless-friendly legislation
MORE: South Australia to host driverless car tests




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