VicRoads is teaming up with BOSCH, the TAC, Geoscience Australia and the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information to test a world-first satellite positioning system in Albert Park.
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The test is part of a wider Australasian trial of a satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS), backed by $12 million in funding from the Australian Government and $2 million from the New Zealand Government. A Tesla Model S, purchased and modified by Bosch with additional TAC funding, was used to test the tech around Albert Park Lake.

When it's up and running, the system will help support autonomous driving by providing more accurate location data. Where most first-generation SBAS systems are accurate to around half a metre, the second-generation system being tested in Melbourne can pinpoint a vehicle down to just 10cm.

The system, dubbed SBAS-2, was switched on in September, making Australia the first country to transmit an SBAS-2 signal.

"An Australasian SBAS will reduce potential road blocks to more advanced vehicles, by providing the accurate positioning they will require," said Dr Graeme Kernich, acting CEO, Australia and New Zealand Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information.

"A potential barrier to the introduction of automated vehicles is the lack of freely available wide-area positioning services with high accuracy and integrity. Current GNSS receivers used in vehicles don’t offer the precise positioning accuracy needed to take full advantage of the upcoming advances in vehicle automation."

"The tests are being conducted in areas known to be a challenge for GNSS, to see if SBAS can overcome limitations,” he continued.

Along with the road trials, there will be more than 30 trials of SBAS-2 conducted across road, rail, maritime, construction, agriculture and resource-based industries.