There are compelling benefits to full automation of Australia’s road system and it is vital that Australia’s policies and infrastructure anticipate the exponential rate of technological advancement and uptake.
Significant improvements to road safety and significant community benefits through reduced crashes are set to be made through the advancement and uptake of driverless vehicles. Driverless vehicles will also have a major impact to Australia’s infrastructure, through improved mobility, reduced congestion and the freeing up of land. Finally, with substantial investment into driverless vehicle technology, the potential economic gains for Australia are significant.
There are however challenges that must be faced for transitioning to autonomous vehicles. A fully autonomous road system will have a substantial impact on employment, with consequent social impacts. Another major social roadblock is public acceptance, owing to concerns such as safety, security, privacy and job losses. There is also the challenge of insurance, in terms of where the responsibility lies if there is an accident and who will pay for the insurance. Overseas governments have already started incorporating policies and initiatives to facilitate the development and introduction of automated vehicle technologies and ATSE recommends that the Commission examine these examples for how to best tackle the challenges of developing an autonomous road system.
Read the full response in the attached submission.
Enhancing Australia's prosperity through technology and innovation