Road to autonomous vehicles in Australia: an exploratory literature review

Yuchao Sun, Doina Olaru, Brett Smith, Stephen Greaves, Andrew Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
826 Downloads (Pure)


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 the
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, travel behaviour and demand, 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
Pages (from-to)34-47
Number of pages14
JournalRoad & Transport Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


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