Australian researchers say Driverless cars will make more traffic

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Australian researchers say Driverless cars will make more traffic

Researchers in Australia have predicted that the rise of autonomous vehicles will make congestion worse and not better?

The researchers are based at University of Sydney's Institute of Transport and Logistical Studies. The institution has been publishing its Transport Opinion Survey (TOP) since 2010.

In the most recent study released, it has been found that while Australians may love the idea of self-driving cars, they may be far less keen on sharing their car with others.

Many may not have thought about this before but autonomous transport may open up the possibility that vehicles can be shared as there will not be any human drivers.

In the latest TOP Survey in Australia, only one-third of people questioned, think they would be willing to lease their autonomous car to someone else for use if the owned one.

Car sharing is vital to any assumption that self-driving vehicles would reduce congestion as many feel traffic congestion will not be reduced in any meaningful way.

The survey found that 28 per cent of Australians in the sample would consider buying an AV, but only seven per cent would lease theirs to others.

Without a change to attitudes, such a low rate of sharing would be too low to offset population-driven growth in the number of cars on the roads.

In the future, autonomous vehicles will basically mean that everyone will have their own chauffeur and will never have to drive themselves again unless they want to, that is.

Many people in the past have dreamed of being chauffeur driven everywhere and that reality is fast approaching for most drivers around the world.

With Australians' unwillingness to share their cars, it has led TOP's director Professor David Hensher to suggest that traffic congestion could get worse in the self-driving car era, unless governments encourage car sharing. He said
“the real challenge is getting society to become more sharing either by allowing others to use their cars or through a third party mobility plan” in the university's media release [PDF]. ®


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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