Are self-driving cars really the way of the future?
Well, Kiwis are now asked to have their say on the topic.
The Ministry of Transport has drafted a lengthy (55 pages…) document analysing the pros and cons of autonomous vehicles and their impact on society and the transport sector.
The document questions the safety of self-driving vehicles on NZ roads and how the government will decide what cars can and cannot be used.
It also looks at who will be to blame if these cars are involved in a crash. Does the responsibility lie with the driver? The manufacturer? Or both?
The document doesn’t actually answer these questions, but public input is encouraged.
It does, however, suggest autonomous vehicles could have a positive impact on the economy “by increasing market competition and improving service delivery.”
“Reduced driver costs and associated constraints (like mandated rest times) could result in cheaper transport services, greater flexibility in service delivery (through more on-demand models) and better network coverage,” it reads.
The document adds self-driving vehicles have potential personal benefits, such as allowing for sleep on long overnight journeys. They will also help Kiwis who cannot drive.
“Autonomous vehicles could provide benefits for many New Zealanders, depending on where they live and their ability to access available transport options.”
However, the document also looks at the disadvantages autonomous vehicles might have to the existing transport sector.
“At Levels 4 and 5, automated driving will remove the need for a human driver to be in control of the driving task. This will result in job losses in some industries.”
A new licensing system may also be needed for operating a self-driving vehicle.
Kiwis have until May 27 to make suggestions to the document.
All information regarding this can be found here.