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Priority 5: Customer readiness

Priority 5: Customer readiness

Customers will shape adoption

Customers are increasingly interested in the potential benefits of CAVs, and will ultimately determine how and when this technology and related services are adopted.

In 2016, 47 per cent of Australians surveyed by the Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI) believed fully automated vehicles would be safer.37In 2017, research by the University of Sydney revealed that around 40 per cent of NSW residents would use a fully automated vehicle, either as a privately owned vehicle or as part of shared mobility service.38

The same studies also show that people have common concerns around safety, liability, privacy, and data security – issues that are now being addressed through coordinated efforts by the Australian, state and territory governments.

Sydney residents are relatively early adopters of innovative mobility services, and a third of them reported using ridesharing services like Uber in the two years after introduction. Recent research by Ernst & Young (see figure 13) indicates that Sydney residents are the most attracted to using 'self-driving' or fully automated vehicles – for both cars and public transport vehicles – compared to the rest of the country.39

Figure 13: Image source 40

Governments and industry have an important role to ensure that the community understand the benefits and limitations of these emerging technologies, and are informed in how to use them to improve their safety and travel experience. Public education and first-hand experience in trials and demonstrations will be important in achieving this.

The emergence of new services offers customers greater choices and the opportunity to influence what services are offered in future. The attitudes of customers and communities towards innovative CAV technologies and services will be critical to whether they succeed. Transport providers will need to understand customer needs and expectations, build trust and acceptance of newer technologies, address concerns about safety and privacy, and design the introduction of new services that place customer needs at the centre.

Customer adoption of CAVs will also determine how long we continue to have human-driven vehicles. A modern vehicle has an average life span of 10-15 years and it could take decades for the majority of human-driven vehicles to be replaced or taken off the road. Ongoing education to address public concerns about safety and security, and ensuring our regulations are adapted quickly, can help streamline this process.

We must also work to ensure that our regional customers are able to fully access the safety and mobility benefits of CAVs. Regional and remote customers face a distinct set of mobility challenges compared with metropolitan customers – they suffer from higher road fatality rates, have limited access to flexible and affordable public transport services, and have a broader range of road conditions and digital connectivity gaps in many regions that inhibit connected and highly automated vehicle operations.

We will continue to facilitate more trials of CAVs, such as the ones in Armidale and Coffs Harbour, and flexible, on-demand services to demonstrate and assess the potential uses and benefits for regional communities.

Priority 5: Customer readiness

In the next five years, NSW will aim to:

  1. Have trials and policies in place that support the best customer and community outcomes with CAVs – aligned to Future Transport 2056 outcomes
  2. Increase customer information, acceptance and use of CAVs through communications, demonstrations and trials

Trials and projects:

5.1 Work with government agencies, industry and community organisations to promote awareness of CAV technologies and their proper use, and on current and upcoming CAV trials and services

5.2 Use CAV trials to enable customers to see and experience CAVs operate in different services, and collect customer feedback to inform future services, including for customers with different needs

5.3 Work with universities to research and share insights on customer attitudes and choices around different CAV service models, to inform future services and investment decisions

Six principles for Future Transport

The Future Transport 2056 Strategy is focused on six key principles for the future of mobility in the state, which together aim to positively impact the economy, communities and environment of NSW.

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