DRIVERLESS CARS: TOWARDS A CRASH-FREE FUTURE?

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Parliamentary inquiry probing benefits of new technology

NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall is encouraging locals to consider a future with driverless cars and make a submission to the state parliamentary inquiry considering the potential impact on road safety of this emerging technology.

Mr Marshall is a member of the Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Road Safety which is conducting the inquiry and said that while long considered science fiction, self-driving cars were expected to be on Australian roads in the next couple of years.

“Companies like Google and Volvo are developing and test self-driving cars right now and the early results and astonishing speed of technology advances indicates driverless cars will be on the market here very soon,” Mr Marshall said.

“This is incredibly exciting.

“The potential improved road safety benefits associated with the introduction of driverless vehicle technology seem to be nothing less than ground-breaking and need to be examined in detail.”

According to Gerard Waldron, the managing director of the Australian Road Research Board Group, Australia’s $27 billion annual “road safety bill” could be reduced by up to 90 per cent with the advent of driverless cars.

Professor Hussein Dia from Swinburne University of Technology has written that driverless car technology has the potential to reduce accidents by 90 percent.

“The potential road safety benefits could be immense and our committee’s inquiry will have a strong focus on establishing the basis for a regulatory framework which will facilitate and foster driverless vehicles technology to deliver improved road safety benefits to the NSW community,” Mr Marshall said.

“We will also examine how prepared NSW road safety regulators are to meet the challenges brought by these technologies and what amendments to NSW road safety policies and regulations may be required.

“We are determined to ensure that NSW is prepared to seize all opportunities and mitigate potential risks these technological advances may bring.”

The Committee welcomes submissions from all relevant stakeholders and interested parties.
Submissions can be emailed to staysafe@parliament.nsw.gov.au, lodged via the committee’s website www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/staysafe or mailed to the Joint Committee on Road Safety, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

The closing date for submissions is Monday, 11 April 2016.

Further information about the inquiry can be obtained on the committee’s website at www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/staysafe

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