Driverless vehicles making progress in Australia

An electric vehicle manufacturer has signed an agreement with Australian smart cities provider, SenSen Networks, to collaborate on developing autonomous driving capabilities.

Under the new deal, ACE Electric Vehicles will provide SenSen with cars for testing and manufacturing in South Australia, in yet another expansion of Australia’s smart city agenda.


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The near future? Photo: HJE


It seems like the scene of a science fiction novel: Humans travelling around in cars that they are not in control of, connected by a linked network of sensors and algorithms.

This is no longer sci-fi dream, however, and is on the way to becoming a reality in this country. 

Australian smart city innovator SenSen Networks has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ACE Electric Vehicles Group, in a bid to ‘kick start’ domestic driverless markets.

The group will develop AI and sensor analytics solutions for electric cars to be built in South Australia, representing the company’s launch into the rapidly growing field of autonomous vehicles.

According to reports, ACE will provide a prototype electric vehicle for the purpose of “testing the installation, use, compatibility and performance of automated driving technology” under development at SenSen.

Speaking on the agreement, SenSen CEO Subhash Challa said: “The shift towards electric vehicles and automated driving is inevitable, and SenSen is positioning itself to be an important part of that evolution.”

ACE Director Greg McGarvie also commented: “This is a great opportunity for two clever, innovating Australian companies to demonstrate leadership in the development of a cleaner, more secure, cost-efficient and smart transport system.”

“We see this collaboration with ACE Electric Vehicles Group as a significant step forward in fulfilling our commitment to assist governments in creating a safer, more efficient living and working environment for their citizens.

Not only does the ACE vehicle bring back vehicle manufacturing and energy solutions to Australia, but as a world leader in AI and sensor technology, SenSen will provide its expertise to making our vehicles autonomous – a first for Australia!

ACE says it is “production ready” with German and Taiwanese technology partners.

A company at the forefront of smart city innovation across the world is now partnering with vehicle manufacturers to begin incorporating autonomous vehicles into the Australian market.

The end of private vehicle ownership is an essential element of the Brave New World shift.


Autonomous vehicles, or AVs, are set to change the way we think of travel in the near future, but there are concerns regarding the extent of their benefits and unintended consequences.

If you believe the forecasts from carmakers, bus operators and trucks companies, the first driverless vehicles should be live very soon – and every brand from Mercedes to Ford will have one.

Since Google released its first fleet of AVs in 2010, developments in AV technology have accelerated significantly. Experts estimate that auto-companies will roll out AVs in the market in 2020 and AVs are expected to occupy a quarter of the world market by 2040.

The technology has already seen both trial and live rollouts in various countries and is set to be underpinned by a network of interconnected, data-sharing technologies.

Australia is experiencing an increased shift towards autonomous technology in vehicles, underpinned by surveillance capabilities that can document and record activity in new model releases.

Currently, 15 similar trials are underway in Australia, with RAC’s Intellibus in Perth ahead of the pack. In operation for three years, it’s one of only a handful worldwide coping with live traffic.

This includes the autonomous mini-bus travelling around Sydney’s Olympic Park, which is one of hundreds undergoing trials across the world.

Controversial ‘driver assistance technology’ is already on the way in the future, including black-box data recorders, which monitor everything from a vehicle’s speed to ‘driver condition’.

According to a new report by LEK Consulting, Australia is set reap billions of dollars via the adoption of ‘new mobility’, while private vehicle ownership dries up almost completely.

Economic modelling predicts innovative transport systems led by AVs will generate $62 billion in Australia, and with this change, you will be in the minority if you own a car by 2050. 

A key component of Australia’s smart city agenda, driverless cars will ensure travel is highly restricted and/or limited to the ‘privileged’ in the future. Sold to the public under ‘safety’. 

Interestingly, SenSen is already involved in a number of local smart city projects.


Established in 2007 as a spin-off from the University of Technology Sydney, SenSen Networks is a leading innovator for smart cities worldwide. They deliver complex solutions using video-IoT analytics platform in Australia, North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Using the SenDISA (Distributed and Intelligent Sensor Analytics) platform, the company has delivered robust and scalable law enforcement solutions, including speed enforcement, city by-laws enforcement and parking enforcement, to global law enforcement and government agencies.

The core capabilities of the platform allow the fusion of data from cameras and sensors to detect vehicles, people and objects, track and classify them, determine their speed and location and ascertain various attributes necessary to save lives and improve citizens’ well-being:

According to their website, the list of smart city projects undertaken in Australia includes:

Brisbane City Council — Suburban Safety Solution using a range of fixed pole-mounted cameras and vehicle-mounted cameras and a cloud-hosted back-office solution.

Logan City Council — End to end mobile car-based enforcement solution with an in-car system and a cloud-based back office. Integration enabled with Citec and Infor Pathways.

City of Ipswich — Complete Mobile Parking Enforcement solution, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) engine, and associated business logic engine. Integration enabled with the council’s information management system.

Maribyrnong City Council — Asset management solution for Traffic, Parking Signs, Line Marketing Inventory Database, and Auditing.

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), New South Wales — Point to point Average Speed Enforcement to Enhance Highway road Safety and Security.

Crown Casino, Melbourne — Delivering accurate actionable insights about table occupancy, hands per hour, bet type and value for every bet placed on the gaming floor.

Mt. Kosciuszko, New South Wales –– First of its kind cloud-based Highway ANPR and vehicle classification system. Integration enabled with RMS.

Town of Victoria Park, Western Australia –– SenForce Mobile solution for Parking Enforcement Solution. Integration enabled with Schweers International (Germany) and collaboration with Civica software.

Soon, you can add the integration of autonomous vehicle development to this resume.

Given recent news that Telstra has joined the CLARA consortium to further enhance smart city development across Australia, the picture is clear: This agenda is starting to become a reality.

If not stopped, both on a local and national level, sophisticated networks of cameras, sensors, trackers and sci-fi technology will create a digital prison of unprecedented proportions.

Driverless cars, high-speed rail lines, all connected by monolithic cities down the east coast.

Speak to your local councils, question developments in your area. A localised grassroots approach is necessary to intercept the expansion at all levels. There is still time.

We will continue to follow this story.


SenSen’s Australian Autonomous Driving Industry Push Takes Wings with ACE MoU | Kalkine Media

South Australia to build electric vehicles under ACE, SenSen Networks deal | ITWire

Current Customers | SenSen Networks

Few Aussies will own cars in 2050, predicts new study |

The End of Private Vehicle Ownership | TOTT News


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1 comments on “Driverless vehicles making progress in Australia”

  1. Great info. Ethan, Good luck to the masters mandating anything automated or electric in the rural bad lands of Qld. Sorry to those living in the cities but you have had years and years of Hollywood (brainwashing) telling you this was coming!

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