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Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are poised to revolutionise not only transportation but the way people live and work throughout the world
But is New Zealand ready for an AV-driven future?
The 2018 KPMG Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index (AVRI) evaluates the preparedness of 20 countries globally for the introduction of self-driving vehicles, and highlights best practice to help countries accelerate AV adoption. The Index evaluates each country according to four pillars that are integral to the adoption and integration of autonomous vehicles: policy and legislation, technology and innovation, infrastructure, and consumer acceptance.
How did New Zealand fare?
Overall, New Zealand ranked 9 out of 20.
New Zealand is second only to Singapore on policy and legislation, with high scores for AV regulation. There is no specific legal requirements for cars to contain drivers in New Zealand and we have a government that is generally supportive of the technology. New Zealand also has a strong reputation as a technology test-bed and consumers that are relatively accepting of new technologies.
New Zealand scores lower on technology and innovation, with no AV company headquarters, patents or investment found in the research. It also scores lower on infrastructure.New Zealand is in the bottom five on infrastructure due to low levels of 4G coverage outside populated areas, few electric charging stations and middling ratings for road quality and road infrastructure.
“Low cost mobility provided by AVs will bring benefits in productivity, income and quality of life,” says Istvan Csorogi, KPMG Deal Advisory Director. “But it will also bring major challenges, for example in ensuring that AVs are safe, and our roads and cities are built with AVs in mind.”
“Low cost mobility provided by AVs will bring benefits in productivity, income and quality of life but it will also bring major challenges, for example in ensuring that AVs are safe, and our roads and cities are built with AVs in mind.”
“Infrastructure is a big issue in New Zealand – we need to invest in transport and mobile communications to address some of the issues facing our major centres such as congestion, and to support new technologies such as electric vehicles.”
“Planning for an AV future is important, because it is not a question of if, but when AVs become ubiquitous. Investment decisions made today can help or hinder our future adoption,” says Csorogi.
“Partnerships between government and the private sector can speed technology development, and also help to meet public policy objectives. It is important to engage all stakeholders – government, business and citizens – with AV planning, as it will impact many aspects of life in the future.”
Countries most ready for autonomous vehicles
According to the AVRI, the 10 countries most prepared for the future of autonomous transportation of those researched are:
3. United States
5. United Kingdom
8. United Arab Emirates
9. New Zealand
10. South Korea