Will grey nomads live the driverless Big Lap dream?

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Driverless cars
A hands-free Big Lap may not be too far away

With the huge distances involved in driving around Australia, the dangers of travelling while too tired, and the sheer stress of driving a large rig, grey nomads have potentially got more to gain from the advance of driverless technology than virtually anyone.

While it is easy to write off the potential in regional areas due to the poor mobile and internet coverage, things could change very quickly in that regard.

The House of Representatives Industry, Innovation and Science committee has been investigating the potential benefits and challenges involved in taking up emerging autonomous vehicle technology … and it acknowledges that Australia’s patchy rural telecommunications network will have to be vastly improved first.

The National Farmers Federation (NFF), Mark Harvey-Sutton, told the committee that many people in rural areas would not be able to make the most of the technology already being seriously tested in the US because they could not get connected.

“If you look at how the US is populated, the whole country is covered by telecommunications networks,” he said. “Driverless vehicles could make rural roads safer, by removing the risks of driver error or driver fatigue during long travel on country roads.”

The ABC reports that Curtin University psychology professor Simone Pettigrew found a generally favourable impression of driverless vehicles among the community.

Her survey of about 1,500 people found that Australians believe the technology will benefit people who cannot drive, offering them greater independence.

Australians also expect driverless cars will lead to more time-and-fuel-efficient transportation.

In terms of the Big Lap, of course, driverless technology may will offer grey nomads who may be medically unable to drive the chance to still live the dream.

The House of Representatives committee is expected to report back with its findings before the end of the year.

·         Do you think the grey nomads of the not-too-distant future will not have to worry about driving themselves? Comment below

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2 Responses to Will grey nomads live the driverless Big Lap dream?

  1. If we have to rely on telecommunications systems like we have in Australia to utilise driverless vehicles – We will be walking most of the time out in the bush.

  2. Bush seats don’t usually determine elections. We’ve got Buckley’s of getting the necessary comms outside the major cities and towns.

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