Recent decades have seen rapid development in transport technologies. Looking forward, one of the most exciting developments is the advent of autonomous vehicle technology, which promises to change the way people and goods are transported in New Zealand. The primary purpose of this report is to summarise some of the opportunities and challenges associated with the deployment of autonomous vehicle technology in the New Zealand context. In doing so, we hope to make a positive contribution to public debate and inform changes to policy settings.
Many recent innovations in transport technologies, such as ride-share apps and online journey planners, have improved the way that people use existing transport technologies. Autonomous – or driverless – vehicles have the potential to further improve transport options. By removing the need for a human driver, autonomous vehicles are widely expected to:
• Increase accessibility for people who are unable to drive themselves;
• Reduce the cost of using taxis and delivery services;
• Reduce the demand for off-street parking;
• Increase road safety and capacity;
• Increase the demand for short-stay, on-street parking.