Speaking from Singapore, where he is leading a delegation looking at future transport and mobility solutions, Roads Australia President, David Stuart-Watt, said the Inquiry recommendations clearly and appropriately acknowledged that a multi-faceted, multi-government response was urgently required to get the NRSS back on track.
“Notwithstanding, autonomous vehicle technology will be a game-changer for road safety,” he said.
“Our delegation has just come from Japan, where government, industry and academia are working closely together to fully realise the economic, social and road safety potentials that vehicle automation promises,” he said.
“Japan has an impressive and aggressive program for the development and commercialisation of autopilot (level 3) vehicles by 2020, and fully automated (level 4) vehicles for the Japanese expressway system by 2025.
“Australian governments are already working actively and co-operatively to prepare the way for self-driving vehicles. The more we can do to accelerate the safe introduction of this technology on our roads, the more lives we can save.”
Mr Stuart-Watt congratulated the Inquiry Committee on its response to the Federal Government’s terms of reference and timeline.
“The Inquiry has identified a lot of areas where we can improve, and practical steps we can take to get there,” he said.
“From a road industry perspective, an ongoing priority and focus area for us is road-worker safety.
“It’s important to recognise that road safety isn’t just about drivers and passengers. It’s also about the workers who build and maintain our roads, as well as the emergency service responders.”