Research details Australia’s autonomous vehicle opportunity

Industry body makes case for Australia to prepare for Australia’s autonomous vehicle future


Autonomous vehicles have the opportunity to add 16,000 new jobs and $95 billion in economic value annually to Australia, according to an analysis report from the Australian Driverless Vehicle Imitative (ADVI).

Conducted by economist Brian Haratsis, the executive chairman at ADVI’s program partner MacroPlanDimasi, the report says should Australia take a proactive approach to the new technology, and create an industry and government coordinated plan from 2020, it will see the benefits.

The forecast suggests in the event Australia increased its stake in the global intelligent mobility sector from 0.25 per cent to 1 per cent an additional $15 billion would be added to the economy and 7,500 direct jobs and an additional 8,500 indirect jobs would be created.  

Haratsis says this approach would require a funding shift from the car manufacturing industry to the controlled rollout of driverless technology.

"This country is in need of a clear government mandated roadmap for the rollout of automated vehicle technology to ensure we maximise the social, environmental and economic benefits automation can bring," Haratsis says.

"We have the high-tech research, design, testing and manufacturing capabilities to make us a leading exporter of mobility services and technology across the APAC region.

"By taking first mover advantage in this emerging global industry, we can not only mitigate the forecast 40,000 jobs to be lost in car manufacturing, but create a new specialised high-tech export market.

"If the average $2 billion in assistance to car manufacturers between 1997 and 2012 was invested in intelligent mobility, direct employment could be doubled from 7,500 to 15,000.

"Add that to the estimated baseline $80 billion economic saving from improved road safety and congestion thanks to autonomous vehicle technology and the incentives for swift and decisive action are clear."

The ADVI believes the creation of a five-year funding and incentive package for research, development, demonstration, and deployment, in a similar manner to the UK’s Intelligent Mobility Fund, is the best approach to managing the growth in autonomous vehicles.

By 2030, shared autonomous vehicles will account for 10 per cent of vehicle sales and 30 per cent of all kilometres travelled, research cited by the report says, fundamentally changing the way vehicles are utilised and taxed by society.

"Transitioning from a society of car ownership to car sharing will have significant benefits for road congestion and the environment," Haratsis says.

"It’s also the much needed catalyst for changes to outdated funding mechanisms, including; fuel excises, registration and licensing fees."

Haratsis says this change will extend to the use of land in metropolitan and rural areas, such as car parks and road infrastructure, meaning "it’s important that town planners, designers and engineers understand the implications automation will bring so they can start preparing now."



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