An advanced research centre for next generation vehicles will be established at Deakin University through a $13 million Next Generation Simulator project at Waurn Ponds.
The project will allow students, researchers and industry to undertake cost-effective prototype testing, engineering and commercial product design of driver and driverless cars.
The facility will also house the European-built S3 Motion Simulator Platform for expert drivers to test products in a virtual environment.
“As a bespoke training platform, the Next Generation Motion Simulator Platform will enhance Australia’s sovereign capability in mobility technologies and create new jobs for regional Victoria,” Deakin University vice-chancellor Professor Iain Martin said.
“The government’s investment will help Deakin provide compelling virtual worlds where students and engineers can develop and test cost-effective products with real-world application.”
Partnerships with Ford Australia and Ansible Motion will ensure locally made vehicle products are commercially viable and internationally competitive.
“Geelong has always been a proud Ford town, and this exciting collaboration between Ford and Deakin will reinforce our reputation as an advanced manufacturing city of excellence,” member for South Barwon Darren Cheeseman said.
University and TAFE students will receive training in using motion technology platforms, and research on driver-based and driver-less vehicles, creating a pipeline of local workers for the advanced manufacturing industry.
The project will create 15 jobs by 2025, as well as four PhD positions and two internships each year.
“The Next Generation Simulator will enhance our existing skills and knowledge in vehicle manufacturing to drive innovation and create world-first products,” Victorian minister for Higher Education Gayle Tierney said.
“This is a great example of how local universities are working with government and industry to create great opportunities for Victorians as well as contributing to our economy.”
Construction is expected to begin in November and completed early next year, with a builder to be appointed soon.
The Victorian government has contributed $5 million to the project in a joint effort with Deakin University and its partners through the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund. This fund was developed in response to the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector.