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Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack (centre) with the Monash Motorsport team. Photo: supplied.

Monash Motorsport team helps prepare students for a driverless future

Australia's first student-built driverless race car was featured at this week's International Driverless Vehicle Summit (IDVS4) at Olympic Park in Sydney.

Designed and built by the Monash Motorsport team, the M19-D has been three years in the making and made its public debut in August at Monash's Clayton Campus open day.

Monash Motorsport CEO Paras Bhutiani said the team’s involvement in the motorsport program and events like IDVS4 gives them the opportunity to gain “real-world experience in collaborating with other companies and forming partnerships”.

“It allows students to understand the opportunities that will exist in the near future that they may wish to pursue after university,” he said.

“It also gives us a clear picture of entrepreneurial opportunities in this field, and how we as students have the ability to forge some of that future.”

Over the two days of the summit the Monash Motorsport team demonstrated the driverless capabilities of the M19-D at low speed to summit delegates and members of the public, and also hosted an exhibit alongside world-leading autonomous mobility companies.

“These are the sort of experiences that you can't get by reading a textbook or sitting an exam, but they are important experiences that will prepare us for the workforce,” Bhutiani said.

The team is now turning its attention to preparing its combustion and electric vehicles for the Formula SAE-A competition, which culminates this year in an event at Victoria's Winton Motor Raceway on December 5 to 8.

It will then focus on testing and refining its three vehicles for competition in Germany next year – involving two months of shipping each way, 60 students and three competitions across 10-weeks – where the M19-D will make its debut a formula student driverless competition.

Attended by government members, industry figures and researchers, IDSV4 was staged by the Australia and New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI) to showcase Australian and international best practice in driverless vehicle technology.

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