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Melbourne could become a test hub for driverless cars, with the opening of a new national one-stop shop for road research.

The multimillion-dollar National Transport Research Organisation, based at Fishermans Bend, will also look at “smart pavements” and how smart cities should work.

“We need more urban test-beds for autonomous vehicles. Fishermans Bend is perfect as the developing smart hub of engineering, technology and design,” Australian Road Research Board chief executive Michael Caltabiano said in a statement on Wednesday.

“With the correct level of research funding from government, ARRB’s facility in Fishermans Bend can provide a perfect home base for this sort of research to be stepped up, and help Australia towards a connected mobility future.”

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack on Wednesday officially opened the facility, which was previously based at Vermont South in Melbourne’s east.