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Perth Perfect For Autonomous Cars: Former GM Exec Larry Burns Photo:
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Trevor Collett | Aug, 05 2014 | 2 Comments

Perth in Western Australia would be ideal for autonomous cars, according to former General Motors executive Larry Burns.

Speaking at an RAC of WA event, Mr Burns outlined the benefits of self-driven cars in inner-city environments, saying Perth’s population density was similar to US cities.

Burns is currently working with internet giant Google on its autonomous car program, and believes car-usage in Perth reflects the project’s desired outcomes.

"Humans get distracted and people lose attention - these sensors don't drink and drive, they don't get tired and they don't get distracted," Mr Burns said, speaking with The West Australian.

"Perth feels very much like a US experience, the population densities are very similar and I think people are using cars in pretty much the same way."

Burns believes autonomous cars could cut the road toll by up to 90 percent, while operating ten times more efficiently than cars driven by humans.

The former GM employee added self-driven cars were safe enough for children to ‘operate’, saying several families could share the school run in the one car without the need for an adult driver.

That last comment is at odds with a recent survey in the US, which found 76 percent of respondents would not trust an autonomous car to drive their children to school.

The RAC supported the idea of autonomous cars in Perth, with Chief Executive Terry Agnew saying the technology could improve WA’s current road safety record.

“When you look at road safety, WA is the worst in Australia and that’s not acceptable - how many lives might this save? Any new technology and the change is a risk but that’s not a reason not to do it,” Mr Agnew said.

Mr Agnew pointed to the RAC’s ‘attention-driven’ vehicle as proof of the dangers created by driver distraction.

MORE: WA, Perth News | Autonomous News

 
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