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(Australian Associated Press)
One million driverless cars will be on Australian roads by 2035 and people could access the vehicles under a Netflix-styled subscription service, according to a report from motoring body NRMA.
The six-month study into Australia’s driverless future says car ownership would drop substantially as people leased vehicles on a subscription basis, while driver’s licences would become redundant.
The major beneficiaries would be the young, elderly and disabled, who could be allowed to control driverless cars by the mid-2020s, The Future of Car Ownership report says.
“People with epilepsy, narcolepsy, sensory disability, as well as the elderly and the young who are unable to hold a traditional driver’s licence, will be able to use point-to-point transport that meets their needs,” the report says.
Level Three Automation, in which the car undertakes most tasks with human oversight, will be available next year with the Audi 8.
Meanwhile, Level Five Automation, or cars without steering wheels, will arrive within eight years, the report says.
NRMA president Kyle Loades said Australia was not yet ready for the driverless future.
The NRMA called on all levels of government to commence autonomous vehicle trials as soon as possible and for policies to be developed for the introduction of autonomous cars.
“Australia is not ready for the mobility revolution and we need to be,” Mr Loades said in a statement.
“The impact of autonomous vehicles will be profound to the point that it is hard to imagine a section of Australia that won’t be affected.”