The RAC points to progress from the likes of Volvo, Daimler and Google in developing autonomous technology, and urged local authorities to consider its impending arrival to Australian roads.
Volvo’s all-new XC90, described by the Swedish carmaker as “highly autonomous”, is set to arrive in Australia from the third quarter of this year.
Peugeot announced last week that its next 508 will feature “near autonomous” driving systems, and current technologies such as autonomous emergency braking, lane assist and self-parking features are already becoming widely available across carmaker’s local line-ups.
With this in mind, the RAC urged state and Federal Governments to begin preparing legislation and infrastructure for the day when cars will be driving themselves.
“Automated vehicles have the potential to not only eliminate human error, but also the three biggest killers on our roads - speeding, drink and drug driving and inattention,” RAC’s Anne Still said.
“These cars don’t get tired, they don’t drink and drive and they don’t lose attention behind the wheel, but implementing this technology which is so radically different from our current arrangement will take time, funding and co-ordinated approach from all levels of government.”
Ms Still said self-driving cars could spell the end for speed and red light cameras, and even allow passengers without driver’s licences to be driven around by their own cars.
But before this day arrives, the RAC says legislation and infrastructure around cities needs to be changed to prevent the technology from being blocked by red tape.
“We need to start investigating how we can facilitate these systems, and eliminate the barriers,” Ms Still said.
“A demonstration or trial would be a useful way to understand how the advent of autonomous vehicles is likely to affect the way in which our 800,000 members move around our state and it’s something RAC is eager to pursue.”
While visiting Western Australia last year, former General Motors Executive Larry Burns declared Perth the ideal city for the testing and introduction of autonomous cars.
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