Is Australia really ready for autonomous vehicles?
Australia has dropped a place in an annual report analysing the readiness of countries to adopt and implement autonomous vehicle technology, suggesting there still might be a bit of time before we start seeing semi-trailers wind down the West Gate.
KPMG’s Autonomous Vehicle Readiness Index (AVRI) for 2019 ranked Australia at 15th, a drop from its ranking of 14 in the 2018 analysis.
Praveen Thakur, Partner, Management Consulting at KPMG said that while Australia has performed well in ‘supportive regulations’ there was still a lot of work to be done to make the roads autonomous vehicle ready.
"Australia has performed well in certain areas but still needs improvement on others. For example, our lower rating on technology and innovation will hopefully be boosted in future by the recent establishment of a federal body for transport technologies, which aims to unify the states’ and territories’ governments and agencies in delivering future transport technologies,” Thakur says.
The Netherlands was the top ranked country for the second year running, with KPMG highlighting the willingness to work with neighbouring countries to adopt AV technology for freight capabilities as well as plans to launch platoons of over 100 driverless trucks along major routes as key factors behind the decision.
Closer to home, Singapore ranked first in Asia and second overall due to a number of technological innovations like creating a test town for driverless vehicles including a rain machine to recreate wet tropical weather.
Thakur believes this kind of innovation is crucial to see AV technology launched and ultimately succeed in Australia,
“As a federation it is crucial that different levels of government work together effectively and we are seeing this via our strong rating in the survey’s policy and legislation category,” he added.
Ben Squires is a freelance writer based in Sydney interested in all things travel, finance and comedy.