CAN Drive – Automated Vehicle Trial

From early 2018, Canberra drivers will have the opportunity to take part in a world-first trial to improve safety in automated vehicles.


Vehicle automation promises many benefits for Canberra. The ACT Government wants to make sure we are well prepared for this new technology, including ensuring its introduction is safe. We have a track record of working with innovative companies to respond quickly to technology.

There has been an increasing level of automation being introduced into cars every year, and level 3 automated vehicles are already registered for use on Australian roads. These vehicles are capable of self-driving most of the time, but legally the driver is in control of the car.

We are keen to play a major role in the development of automated vehicle technology and have invested $1.35m in seed funding for CAN Drive through the 2017-18 Budget.

Who's Involved?

The ACT Government is entering into a unique, two year research partnership with world-leading Canberra company, Seeing Machines. Seeing Machines employs about 200 Canberrans and is leading the world in the development of driver monitoring technologies.

This joint initiative will also include the Australian National University and University of Canberra, further demonstrating the government’s commitment to supporting the growth of our universities.

What Are We Trialling?

Up to 40 Canberra drivers will be monitored while driving up to Level 3 automated vehicles for up to two weeks at a time. The vehicles used will be fully registered and insured and in compliance with Australian regulation for use on Australian roads.  The trial will comply with the National Transport Commission’s “Guidelines for trials of automated vehicles in Australia”.

The trial will check whether drivers of semi-automated vehicles consistently pay sufficient attention to the driving task. For example, the Seeing Machines software will monitor the driver’s facial movements and expressions.  The trial will be conducted in different environments and under different road conditions.

How Long Will The Trial Take Place?

The trial will take place over two years and is now in planning stages which includes sourcing vehicles and planning driver recruitment.  It is expected that fully equipped trial vehicles will be on the road in early 2018.


The CAN Drive Committee can be contacted at