The slow shutdown of local manufacturers and the lack of infrastructure has dropped Australia to a lowly 14th out of 20 countries for autonomous vehicle readiness. A report by global consulting group KPMG, says the key issues for Australia are “improvements to roads and electric charging infrastructure”. The lack of a local automotive industry also means the country scores poorly for research and development investment.
The survey of the 20 most AV-ready countries was based on four criteria: policy and legislation, technology and innovation, infrastructure and consumer acceptance. Despite the laurels received for the Regulations passed back in May, 2017; KPMG’s report implies the laws didn’t go far enough because the driver is still required to be the “legal driver” and is responsible for any accident caused while sitting behind the wheel of an autonomous vehicle.
There’s no doubt cars with internal combustion engines will be autonomous but the issue is we need to prepare now if we’re going to deal with the challenges autonomous vehicles present.
– Spokesperson, KPMG.
The report also highlighted the need for private sector research and further investment in the technology. Serious private-sector research folded in Australia with the demise of Ford, Holden and Toyota, leaving the likes of Mercedes and Volvo to fill the gap of coping with huge distances and other hazards.