Australia is behind most countries when it comes to being ready for driverless cars

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Australia has a lot to do before it can embrace the driverless car revolution, according to analysis by KPMG.

The 2018 KPMG Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index is the first study of its kind, examining how 20 countries rate in terms of progress and capacity.

Overall, Australia ranked 14th out of 20.

The index rates each country according to four pillars: policy and legislation, technology and innovation, infrastructure, and consumer acceptance.

“On technology and innovation, Australia has few AV technology headquarters and patents,” says the report. “The research found no relevant investments and few Australians drive electric cars.”

Australia scores reasonably well on AV-related policy and legislation, while on infrastructure it receives a maximum score for the quality of mobile networks. But it has a middle ranking for quality of its roads and availability of 4G and currently has very few electric charging stations.

The report ranked 20 countries for readiness for autonomous transportation:

Source: KPMG

Paul Low, KPMG Transport Management Consulting Partner, says autonomous vehicles (AV) will have a transformational impact on society.

“But with the tremendous opportunity comes significant challenges that have to be addressed in order for Australia, and other countries, to be able to realise the full benefits of AVs,” he says.

“A key issue for Australia in this respect is our federation. It is crucial that state and federal authorities collaborate so we can establish a universal platform to support AV transitioning across the nation.

“While high price is often mentioned as a reason for the low take-up of electric cars in Australia, the cost of Automated and Electric vehicles is already declining rapidly and will in the near future will be comparable to an average sedan now (around $30,000).

“I believe the lack of charging infrastructure is as big an issue – for this reason we would commend the approach of the Victorian Government which asked for independent advice from Infrastructure Victoria on the charging and other infrastructure required to enable the implementation of the automated and zero emission vehicles in that state.

“Similar detailed research is needed across Australia as regions will have different infrastructure requirements, driven in part by varying socio-economic structure and urban development patterns.”