Every year about 1300 people die on Australian roads and about 45,000 receive injuries sufficiently serious to warrant hospitalisation (about 11 per cent of emergency room admissions). According to US statistics, 94 per cent of road accidents are caused by human error.
Emerging technology creates the possibility of a fully autonomous road system where no human is involved in the control of a vehicle. This would not only save thousands of lives and reduce the burden on the health system, but would eliminate congestion and avoid the need to build new roads. It is likely to be the single biggest urban transformation we witness in the first half of the 21st century.
Besides explaining the impact of an autonomous transport system, Professor Bradlow will demystify the emerging technologies that make this transition possible: the synthesis of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, autonomous systems, 5G mobile networks and centimetre-accuracy mapping systems.
Finally, he will consider the implications to the economy in terms of the factors described above as well as employment and industry disruption.