Partially automated driving trial

This 2018 trial investigated how partially automated CAVs interact with motorway infrastructure. These are vehicles with some driver-assistance features, such as adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition and lane keep assist.

The trial looked at how these vehicles responded to the motorway environment, including: speed signs; toll points; line markings; motorway artwork and architecture; entry and exit ramps; objects on the road; merging vehicles; light and weather conditions; peak-hour congestion; and road works.

Transurban ran this trial in partnership with the Victorian Government, VicRoads and the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria. Audi, BMW, Mazda, Mercedes, Tesla and Volvo supplied the vehicles used in this trial.

The first trials gave us valuable insights into what

Trial findings

The first trials gave us valuable insights into what’s needed to prepare our roads for an automated vehicle future. The trials also highlighted some of the challenges vehicle manufacturers, infrastructure providers and regulators face as CAVs and automation technology become more common on our roads.

To see the trial’s findings and recommendations, download the trial report or check out the findings and recommendations fact sheet.

The following videos illustrate some of the findings described in the report. Although, they show scenarios that can arise in some vehicles in certain conditions, they are not necessarily common to all trial vehicles.


Lines: the stronger, the better

Yellow lines were reasonably well read but there were some exceptions.

Line contrast had a greater effect than colour, for example a solid white line among yellow lines disrupted lane keeping.

Gaps in line marking under toll points disengaged lane keeping.

Changes in line markings (solid to dotted, expansion joints, dual lines, gap due to lane add) sometimes disengaged lane keeping.

Pay attention next exit

Vehicles favour solid lines and would sometimes follow a solid line up an exit ramp, rather than continuing along main motorway.

Sometimes trial vehicle did not detect stopped vehicles at the end of an exit ramp and did not slow down.

Looking for a sign

Some specific sign types, locations and positions were more challenging to read than others. For example this speed limit sign was not detected on overhead gantry.

Electronic speed signs were more challenging for some vehicles. For example 80 km/h ESLS misread as 30 km/h.

Static signs were well read, but sometimes vehicles read static ramp signs while travelling on main motorway.

Urban design vs vehicle science

In sound tube, vehicle did not correctly determine speed limit - 80km/h read as derestricted symbol.

In sound tube, vehicle did not correctly determine speed limit – 80km/h read as 110 km/h.

In one instance, a ghost vehicle was detected where there was no lane.

Blinkered vision: CAVs can’t see everything

At entry ramps, vehicles did not create a gap to allow merging vehicles into traffic.