Mapping the future of driverless cars in Queensland

High definition (HD) maps would be crucial to the success of driverless cars in Queensland and governments and private businesses would have to work together to make it happen, a report jointly produced by RACQ has revealed.

RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said the Club partnered with iMove, the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Queensland University of Technology to investigate the government’s role in creating, monitoring and maintaining HD maps to support the future roll out of autonomous vehicles (AVs).

“HD maps are critical in delivering accurate, real-time information to help safely guide AVs on our roads,” Dr Michael said.

“This research found the availability and use of existing maps of our roads and infrastructure will be the single most important thing when it comes to the improved performance of driverless cars.

“The study also looked at how other countries have used the technology and found governments could have been more involved in the discussion of how HD maps are created, used and maintained – so that’s why we want to get on top of these issues now, to put Queensland at the forefront of driverless technology.”

Dr Michael said while AVs had the potential to improve road safety, Queensland’s unique driving environment posed several challenges.

"HD maps will play an important role in overcoming these challenges because we need to make sure AVs are able to navigate our roads safely,” she said.

“Existing maps have information on street signs and lane markings and are highly accurate, so they’ll help fill in the gaps for driverless cars where sensor data is limited.

“This report is the first step in understanding how purpose-built maps can be developed, monitored and maintained, which is fundamental to making sure Queensland is ready for a future with driverless cars.”

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