To coincide with its major presence at this year’s CeBIT Australia conference, the Australia and New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI) has released two key thought-leadership papers on parking and transport planning opportunities that will come from driverless vehicle technology.
CeBIT Australia 2017 is the Asia-Pacific region’s largest and longest-running business-to-business (B2B) technology exhibition and conference, and will involve over 15,000 technology professionals from enterprise, government, SME and startups. It is currently taking place (May 23-25) at the International Convention Center in Sydney, Australia. The ADVI stand at the CeBIT event will allow delegates to view a state-of-the-art driverless mobility pod from the UK-based RDM Group, as well as a Volvo fitted with autonomous vehicle technology that is currently being used in driverless vehicle trials across the country.
ADVI’s executive director, Rita Excell, has explained that the transformational change predicted to come with the introduction of driverless vehicles would impact the lives of every Australian, and transform city designs in the years ahead. She noted that the introduction of driverless vehicles is approaching rapidly, and would ultimately underpin the creation of an entirely new city structure and architecture, making it critical to recognize this disruptive technology as a central element in future transport planning.
“Because most vehicles typically sit idle for 96% of the time, it creates a lot of wasted parking spaces in the city, streets and homes. We can expect multi-story parking lot being transformed into community spaces, on-street parking becoming a walk or cycle lane, and home garages being used as green space or extra living area instead,” Excell said.
“Instead of annual insurance, registration and running costs, people will be able to book a vehicle to pick them up and take them to a specific location, which means they will still have the convenience of an on-call car, without ongoing costs and parking challenges.”
Excell continued, “The major challenge facing urban and regional transport planners is that they normally rely on age-old quantitative data sets to inform future infrastructure investment, but that fails to recognize disruptive technologies like driverless vehicles. What is needed is an integrated process that embraces a much larger view of mobility, and considers the changing transport options of users. As we see a decline in car ownership, transport planners can learn from many other countries that have already embraced the Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) concept as a step toward incorporating driverless vehicles into the transport mix.”