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Prime Mover Magazine

Autonomous vehicles to boost productivity, employment: ADVI

The driverless vehicle industry is set to provide Australia with a major productivity boost and a range of new employment opportunities, according to a report commissioned by the Australia and New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI).

With driverless vehicles expected to make their official debut on Australian roads as soon as 2025, ADVI Executive Director, Rita Excell, said she was confident that new job opportunities created by the autonomous vehicle industry and the development and increased use of new driverless vehicle technologies.

“Any job losses experienced within the traditional transportation sector will be offset by the many jobs created within the engineering, automotive, electrical and software industry sectors, which will increasingly be called on to service and support the driverless vehicle industry,” said Excell.

“There is growing agreement that connected and autonomous vehicles will significantly change how we live, use and get around our cities, and what this report shows us is that this technology can substantially improve access to jobs, services and entertainment, as well as create new industries and occupations.

“Just as we have seen quite mainstream jobs transition over the course of time – such as blacksmiths, milkman, elevator and switchboard operators – the introduction of driverless vehicles will create jobs that haven’t even been considered yet.

“The critical transition period for employment and growth will start in 2025 as we see more people start to embrace this new technology and change the way they get around – especially when it comes to swapping car ownership for the convenience of hiring and using a car as and when they need it like they now do with Uber and rideshare,” she said.

Excell said Australia remains well-placed to be a global supplier and implementer of driverless vehicles, and the nation can expect entirely new mobility service value chains to emerge.

“As we see more vehicles sold with Level 5 capability - where a vehicle operates without human intervention – the jobs growth is predicted to be as high as 9,221 additional direct and indirect jobs created every year between 2036 and 2045,” said Excell.

“Driverless vehicles can bring new opportunities if there is a focus on producing high value products and services and the new infrastructure needed by the new extended global automotive supply chains necessary to enable the industry to operate.

“You only have to consider the e-commerce, mobile phone and internet provider industries to understand that business service roles are now a key part of the Australian economy, and we can expect a raft of new jobs to be created across professional, scientific and technical services industries,” she said.

The ADVI-commissioned report also identifies strong growth opportunities for businesses operating in large-scale leasing and fleet rental and management. New business models to be introduced are expected to generate additional work for professional and advisory firms setting up vehicle management systems to hire, maintain, service, clean, recharge and store new driverless vehicle fleets.

“As example, fleet management software needs to be developed and new on-board processing, monitoring and control units will need to be developed and installed. Business user apps for passengers and back-end systems for booking, dispatching, routing, billing and customer services all need to be developed and managed,” said Excell. “Even travelling in a driverless vehicle will create a range of new roles, because someone will need to develop new forms of digital entertainment and the full range of mobile business facilities expected by consumers.”

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