Road to autonomous vehicles in Australia: A comparative literature review

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Autonomous vehicle technology and its potential effects on traffic and daily activities is a
popular topic in the media and in the research community. It is anticipated that AVs will
reduce accidents, improve congestion, increase the utility of time spent travelling and reduce
social exclusion. However, knowledge about the way in which AVs will function in a transport
system is still modest and a recent international study showed a lower familiarity with AVs in
Australia compared to USA and UK. Attitudes towards fully automated driving (or higher
levels of autonomy) range from excitement to suspicion. The breadth of feelings may be due
to the low level of awareness or reflect polarising attitudinal positions. Whilst experts appear
to be more confident about the adoption of AV technology in the near future, public
acceptance is key to AVs’ market success. Hence, research that examines local contexts
and opinions is needed.
This paper reviews existing scholarly work and identifies gaps and directions for future
developments, with a focus on the Australian context. The review will address the following
broad categories: investigation of AV features and mobility models, implications for road
traffic and connectivity to infrastructure (especially in low to medium density urban areas),
public attitudes and concerns, potential business models, and policy implications. The aims
of the paper are to identify critical issues for the development of a focus group inquiry to
understand attitudes of potential users of AVs and to highlight AV development issues for
policy makers in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2016


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