Nations navigate future of vehicles
Rise of driverless technology
WHETHER you like it or not, automation is here.
From tests to all-out bans and questions of social impact, the new role automated vehicles will have on communities across the world is one that is likely to be debated for a long time.
Like every major industrial change affecting law makers the world over, the age of digital disruption has been met with a number of approaches.
We explore who is dealing with what as the digital horizon draws near.
The country notorious for clogged roads has made moves against the auto revolution due to fears of the impact the technology will have on employment.
Last month, transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari publicised the country’s aversion to the digital disruptor.
“We won’t allow driverless cars in India. I am very clear on this. We won’t allow any technology that takes away jobs,” he told Indian media.
“In a country where you have unemployment, you can’t have a technology that ends up taking people’s jobs.”
Instead the government plans to open 100 driver training institutes across the country.
France and Germany
In a clear juxtaposition to India, many European states have taken on board the automation challenge with gusto.
In February this year, Germany and France announced they will be testing self-driving vehicles on routes that link the two countries.
The project, which was announced by Berlin, said the idea was an attempt to test connectivity in a variety of conditions.
“Manufacturers will be able to test the connectivity of their systems, for example when lanes or speed limits change at the border,” German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt said in a statement following a meeting with the French.
“We want to set worldwide standards for this key technology through co-operation between Europe’s two biggest car-producing countries,” he added.
Often the pinnacle of technological development, America’s major stance against the legalisation of automated vehicles will be coming from both federal and state levels as different stakeholders attempt to ban the technology.
In July, a 1.4 million member-strong union pushed congress to place a weight limit on driverless vehicles, which may delay the impact automation has on the road transport sector.
It is no surprise the great southern land is a step behind when it comes to technological stakes, a trend that has plagued the population since its convict days.
Unlike the United States whose driven digital future seems to be piloted by the private sector, it is the government that has stepped up to the plate.
Laws allowing driverless vehicles on NSW roads were passed in August, in conjunction with the State Government’s trial of driverless shuttle buses at Olympic Park.
While automated cars may travel on the road, a human must remain in control of the vehicle at all times.
AUTO IN THE INDUSTRY: A Volvo automated truck makes its way through the Kristineberg Mine in Sweden.
Automated trucks platoon behind the manned lead vehicle.
WA will trial automated shuttle buses this year.