News & Media

EastLink demonstrates automated speed plus steering control

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When part of Melbourne’s EastLink freeway was closed for overnight maintenance recently, EastLink conducted a demonstration of hands-free driving with automated speed plus steering control, using the adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist functions of a Honda CR-V VTi-LX.

The demonstration was broadcast in a television news report by 7 News Melbourne on Friday 6 April.

VIDEO: Watch the TV news report here.

NOTE: Hands-free driving is currently not allowed on Victorian roads. Motorists should always drive with at least one hand on the steering wheel at all times. The demonstration was able to include hands-free driving using adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist as it was conducted on a section of EastLink when closed to traffic for scheduled maintenance activities, and under controlled conditions.

The demonstration was planned to help Victorian motorists gain a better understanding of adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and other driver assistance functions.

It builds on an earlier demonstration, which was broadcast in December, of only automated steering control through the EastLink tunnels.

EastLink corporate affairs and marketing manager Doug Spencer-Roy explained, “This demonstration of automated speed plus steering control resulted from the Annual Victorian Self-Driving Vehicle Survey conducted by EastLink – the largest such survey ever undertaken – in which more than half of the 15,000 respondents rated their awareness of self-driving cars as ‘very little’ or ‘none’.” (The survey results are here.)

“Through this demonstration of automated speed plus steering control, as well as the earlier demonstration of automated steering control through the EastLink tunnels, EastLink is helping motorists gain a better understanding of the latest driver assistance functions, and how they will evolve to make self-driving cars possible in the future.”

“In a number of realistic freeway scenarios, the latest demonstration showed a vehicle steering itself along EastLink while automatically adjusting its speed to ensure a safe distance was always maintained to other vehicles involved in the tests.”

“In one scenario representing a traffic jam caused by an accident, the Honda CR-V VTi-LX was able to bring itself safely and automatically to a complete stop behind other vehicles stopped on the freeway.”

Demo of automated speed control 600w

“Road safety will be significantly improved through the take-up and use of driver assistance functions such as adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist.”

“EastLink is Melbourne’s safest freeway, and we want to keep it that way. Motorists can help by adopting and using the latest driver assistance functions,” concluded Doug Spencer-Roy.

In EastLink’s Annual Victorian Self-Driving Vehicle Survey, only 15% of survey respondents said their car had an adaptive cruise control function, of whom more than a quarter said they don’t use that function. However, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and other driver assistance functions are increasingly available in the latest cars including sports utility vehicles, and at much lower prices than previously.

EastLink selected the all-new Honda CR-V VTi-LX for the demonstration following its participation in the trials of the latest automated vehicle technologies that have been undertaken by EastLink in partnership with VicRoads, the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB), La Trobe University and RACV.

The all-new Honda CR-V VTi-LX, which is available for $44,290*, includes the Honda Sensing package as standard. The Honda CR-V is representative of a new generation of affordable vehicles equipped with an advanced safety technology suite. Honda Sensing comprises a range of driver assistance functions such as lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, collision mitigation braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and road departure mitigation.

* Manufacturer's List Price, excludes dealer delivery and statutory charges

EastLink. Time Better Spent.