The Managing Director of Volvo Car Australia has predicted that cars equipped with autonomous drive features could be on Australian roads by 2020 if traffic laws are changed.

Speaking on the eve of the first Australian trial of an autonomous-driven Volvo car in Adelaide, Kevin McCann urged state and territory governments to amend their traffic laws to keep pace with the rapid advances in autonomous drive technology.

"As the Adelaide trial will demonstrate, autonomous drive technology is here now. There will be roads where the technology is applicable and the autonomous features of the car can work effectively, for example on sections of the F3 freeway in NSW, and the Western Freeway in Victoria.

"I am confident that within 3 or 4 years we can have cars with autonomous drive features being driven on prescribed roads if state governments change their laws to accommodate them. Currently there are legal restrictions which require the driver to be fully in control of the car at all times," he said.

"If the laws are changed we are ready to bring autonomous driven cars to the Australian market."

The Volvo XC90 being used in the Adelaide trial has autonomous drive technology like automatic lane keeping, adaptive cruise control and queue assist. The car can sense what is going on around it in traffic, and react accordingly. It can also interact with other cars which do not have autonomous drive technology.

"All our states and territories are focused on improving road safety." said Mr McCann. "Autonomous drive technologies actually make driving safer by reducing the number of decisions the driver has to make."

On Saturday (November 7) Volvo will spearhead the first autonomous car trial on Adelaide's Southern Expressway using an XC90. The car will be driven at speeds of up to 70km/h and will be followed by a 'pace car' (standard vehicle) to simulate how the autonomous vehicle technology interacts with other road users and adapts to changing conditions.

The Volvo trial is being conducted in conjunction with ARRB, Australia's leading road research firm, and the South Australian Government.

Media inquiries:

Greg Bosnich
Director, PR & Corporate, Volvo Car Australia
T: +61 2 9020 1673
M: +61 419 620995