South Perth could benefit from driverless vehicles says expert


Australia Driverless Vehicle Initiative executive steering committee chairman and Peter Damen spoke about the benefits of driverless vehicles at Parking Australia Convention and Exhibition.
South Perth could benefit from driverless vehicles says expert
Australia Driverless Vehicle Initiative executive steering committee chairman and Peter Damen spoke about the benefits of driverless vehicles at Parking Australia Convention and Exhibition.

DRIVERLESS vehicles could provide a solution to potential parking problems around South Perth, according to a leading expert in the field.

Australia Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI) executive steering committee chairman Peter Damen spoke about the benefits of the vehicles at Parking Australia Convention and Exhibition, which was held at Crown Perth on November 8 to 10.

The introduction of high-rise buildings in South Perth has led to concerns that have been voiced by residents at City of South Perth council meetings and when the Southern Gazette took to the streets to discuss the council’s Vision 2027 plan.

Mr Damen said the driverless vehicles like RAC’s Intellibus, which is being trialled at the South Perth foreshore, could mean people were less reliant on cars in the future.

“It might mean that people don’t need cars in the future if something like the Intellibus was widely deployed,” he said.

“It would then mean that people might not need parking and it would alleviate the potential problems in South Perth.

“What they (RAC) are doing is good, although it’s more of a niche technology but we could see it being used at university campuses, hospitals and aged care homes.”

Mr Damen said he spoke to the conference about automated valet parking, where cars could park themselves.

“The advantage of this is that people don’t need to get in and out of their cars, which allows more cars to fit into the same space,” he said.

“It opens up large swathes of spaces that have been taken up by parking to be turned into liveable spaces like gardens or shops but for the most part, carparks have a lifespan of 40 to 50 years so there is a need for the industry to future-proof them.

“About 18 months ago Australia was behind the world with the technology but we are rapidly catching up and I think we could become world leaders.”

“I think we will see more driverless cars during the next five years, so the industry does not have 20 years to prepare.

“The first driverless vehicles will have to be supervised by human drivers but in 10 to 15 years we could see them driving themselves.”