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Australia trails on readiness for driverless cars

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Australia must improve road quality, 4G broadband reach and availability of electric charging stations in preparation for driverless vehicles, business consulting group KPMG says.

Its Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index ranks Australia 14th out of 20 countries, based on policy and legislation, technology and innovation, infrastructure and consumer acceptance.

Consumer studies suggest Australians have not fully embraced the concept of driverless vehicles.

“The country is very highly rated for people’s use of technology by KPMG’s Change Readiness Index, but few people live in test areas and consumer research suggest Australians are fairly cynical about the technology.”

Australia ranks 11th for policy and legislation, because laws still require a human to be in control of a vehicle.

Despite automated vehicle trials in several states, it ranks only 13th for technology and innovation.

“Australia has few automated vehicle technology company headquarters and patents, the research found no relevant investments and few Australians drive electric cars, although it receives credit for a strong Uber presence and for general availability of technology.”

On infrastructure, Australia receives the top score for its mobile networks but fares less well on road quality, availability of 4G and electric charging stations.

The Netherlands ranks first overall, followed by Singapore, the US, Sweden and the UK.

India is 20th, with Mexico, Russia and Brazil making up the bottom four.