The evolution of the automobile to some form of autonomous vehicle is seen as almost inevitable.
The progressive roll-out of autonomous vehicles on Australian roads, evolving from semi-autonomous to fully autonomous operation, will impact the breadth of transportation activities and will impact our commutes to work on public transport, visits to shopping centres, the transportation of goods across large distances in autonomous trucks, and so on.
This sense of inevitability stems from the scale of potential benefits that autonomous vehicles are seen to offer:
- with as many as 90 per cent of vehicle accidents eliminated there is a potential saving to the Australian economy of $31.9 billion annually
- increased mobility for the young, the elderly and people with disabilities
- more efficient traffic flows and hence reduced congestion. While difficult to quantify the savings at this stage, the ‘size of the prize’ is a reduction in the $17.7 billion in annual Australian congestion costs
- reduced fuel use because autonomous vehicles can drive in a more efficient manner, plus the near elimination of accidents mean that vehicles can be constructed without the need for heavy accident prevention measures
- fewer parking spaces means that more space will be available for improving the built environment in our cities.
Interesting report out of PwC about the implications of autonomous vehicles. Click below to read more.