Coordinated approach to autonomous cars a must

AADA joins the FCAI in backing a coordinated approach to the introduction of autonomous vehicle technology.

It is a given that within the next few decades all cars on the road will be driverless, with the first vehicles expected to hit the road inside the next few years.

The transition period, when automated and human-driven vehicles are sharing the roads, is the most critical and fraught with potential hazards, and this is a large part of the reason why governments must establish a road map for rollout of the technology.

There is also the need to ensure that whatever research and development Australian companies undertake in this area are compatible with similar projects being undertaken overseas. Although we are supporters of Australian innovation, Dealers sell vehicles produced overseas and this needs to be considered.

The Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI) advocates the development of a five-year funding and incentive package focused on research, development, demonstration and deployment similar to the UK’s £100 million (AUD$177 million) Intelligent Mobility Fund, which is expected to fast-track an estimated AUD$1.6 trillion in productivity benefits for the UK.

An ADVI report compiled by economist Brian Haratsis estimates that the Australian economy stands to benefit by up to $15 billion per year and 16,000 jobs if we can harness the potential of intelligent mobility.

The ADVI report also cites research predicting shared autonomous vehicles will, by 2030, account for 10 per cent of vehicle sales and 30 per cent of all kilometres travelled.

Made up of senior executives from government, industry, peak bodies, universities and other relevant organisations, the Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative was formed in 2014 to explore the impacts and requirements of the new technology in an Australian context, and recommend methods and systems to safely and successfully bring self-driving vehicles to Australian roads.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority will allocate a dedicated band for Coordinated Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) by early 2017, providing for an integrated, automated and connected driving network across Australia.

AADA backs FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber’s call to ensure that whatever governance and framework Australia places put around the proposed C-ITS network completely integrates with those of the EU, which shares our 5.9 Gigahertz digital band.

“A national approach is vital and by doing so will optimise all the opportunities that C-ITS presents to us,” Mr Weber said.

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