Australia is a big country, but when you boil it down, most of us live in the cities. That’s why car sharing services make sense: all our mates are in big urban centres, so owning a car doesn’t really make sense. But what about the future of car sharing services? GoGet thinks it’s onto it, and is working on a new self-driving car research project.
The research project will see a Toyota Yaris hatchback named Ethel outfitted with a bunch of self-driving sensor tech to study the roads and how human drivers treat their cars. Details are scarce right now, and for good reason.
An essentially autonomous car is actually against the law in Australia right now, simply due to the fact that no laws presently exist to govern a car with no driver. In the world of Australian motoring, if there’s no law for it, it’s illegal and can’t be on the road, which especially means it can’t be part of a car sharing fleet.
The project is being undertaken in partnership with the University of New South Wales, which hopefully will lead to autonomous cars being made a reality for everyone in due course.
The car has even been spotted in the wild on the University Of New South Wales’ campus.
— Neerav Bhatt (@neerav) February 18, 2014
Here’s what GoGet has to say about the plan:
Do you dream of the day when your GoGet car will pick you up and navigate the busy streets for you while you kick back and read the morning newspaper? Well, that day might be closer than you think! We have teamed up with UNSW on a research project on driverless cars and we now have a self-driving research vehicle in our fleet. While Ethel the Yaris is not quite ready to lose her L-plates and take control of the wheel, she does have some hi-tech equipment that is certain to help make autonomous driving a reality someday soon. Watch this space!
We’ll be looking into this one in detail soon. Stay tuned.