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29 June 2018 Posted by 


Good start but we still trail the world
A NEW $10M fund dedicated to expanding trials of driverless vehicles was announced as part of the recent NSW Budget.

The Government says the allocation is designed to ensure NSW keeps up with the moving pace of technology.
It’s great to see the NSW State government committing some resources to the development of driverless cars in NSW, but Australia still trails many of the developed countries in its regulatory framework for the development and proliferation of alternate fuelled and autonomous vehicles.
The more immediate challenge facing the industry is the integration of alternate fuelled vehicles into mainstream society and the required infrastructure to support this change of technology.
Globally the car manufacturers are committing billions of dollars into the development of EV’s and the battery technology that’s supports this. Many countries, particularly in Europe, are passing legislation banning the sale of emission creating vehicles from sale in their countries from 2025 onwards.
At this stage its taking a bet each way and has left the roll out of EV’s to market forces, so has held back from legislating them into existence, as other countries have done.
The government knows that once it legislates a course of action it will need to back this up with a robust infrastructure plan to support the new technology.
Although autonomous technology is clearly being developed, its widely considered to be the second phase of the journey and requires the wide adoption of EV’s and the infrastructure aligned with this to support its platform.
Initially autonomous vehicles will most likely be commercial in nature,
It’s anticipated that a national autonomous truck network will be more likely to be developed as a precursor to the wider adoption of autonomous vehicles.
This is because a dedicated autonomous intermodal road network could be developed, segregating the autonomous trucks from the driven traffic.
Once the autonomous truck reaches the node, the product can then be moved by smaller commercial vehicles that are not autonomous.
A mass autonomous network where the road is shared between autonomous and driven vehicles will one day exist, but the challenge is creating the intelligence within the autonomous vehicle to predict human behaviour on the road.
That said, we must start somewhere and it’s good to see the government including this on their agenda.
Wayne Pearson is National Leader KPMG Motor Industry Services.



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