Na­tions nav­i­gate fu­ture of ve­hi­cles

Rise of driver­less tech­nol­ogy

Big Rigs - - NEWS -

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.

In­dia

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.

United States

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.

Aus­tralia

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.

PHOTO: KJELL OLAUS­SON

Au­to­mated trucks pla­toon be­hind the manned lead ve­hi­cle.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

WA will trial au­to­mated shut­tle buses this year.

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