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Is your country ready for autonomous vehicles?

Index evaluates each country according to four pillars that are integral to a country’s capacity to adopt and integrate AVs


The Netherlands, Singapore and the United States have been named as the three countries most prepared to take advantage of the autonomous vehicle (AV) revolution.


KPMG’s Autonomous Vehicle Readiness Index (AVRI) evaluates the preparedness of 20 countries globally for the introduction of self-driving vehicles, and highlights best practice to help countries accelerate AV adoption.


According to the professional services firm, the AVRI is the first study of its kind, examining where countries are today in terms of progress and capacity for adapting AV technology. The index evaluates each country according to four pillars that are integral to a country’s capacity to adopt and integrate autonomous vehicles. The four pillars are: policy and legislation; technology and innovation; infrastructure; and consumer acceptance.


The pillars are comprised of several variables that reflect the wide range of factors that impact a country’s AV readiness, from the availability of electric vehicle charging stations, to AV technology R&D, to the population’s willingness to adopt technology, to the regulatory environment.


Of the top five countries named, they display a range of strengths with Singapore ranking first in policy and legislation and consumer acceptance, the US and Sweden ranked first and second respectively in technology and innovation and the UK ranked in fifth place for three of the pillars.


Meanwhile, the Netherlands ranked consistently high (in the top four across all four pillars) with strengths including widespread acceptance of electric cars and a high density of charging stations, a robust telecommunications network (vital for directing AVs), and large-scale AV road tests planned.


“The mobility freedom provided by AVs will have a transformational impact on society,” said Richard Threlfall, global head of infrastructure, KPMG International. “With the tremendous opportunity, though, comes significant challenges that have to be addressed in order for countries to be able to realise the benefits of AVs.”


According to the AVRI, the top 10 countries most prepared for the future of autonomous transportation of those researched are: Netherlands; Singapore; United States; Sweden; United Kingdom; Germany; Canada; United Arab Emirates; New Zealand; and South Korea.


Overall, a country’s economic development correlates strongly with preparedness for AVs, however looking deeper, the AVRI highlights some consistent attributes among the most prepared countries. These include public authorities engaged in and supporting AV development, excellent roads and mobile network infrastructure, and private sector investment and innovation.

“Planning today for an AV future is essential, because it is not a question of if, but when, AVs become the dominant mode of transport,” added Threlfall. “Embracing partnerships between government and the private sector can speed technology development, while helping ensure that the introduction of AVs meet public policy objectives.”


He continued: “Finally, it is important to engage all stakeholders -- government, business and citizens -- in planning for AVs. It’s not just about transportation; we need to be prepared for the impact of AVs on all aspects of our lives.”


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