Australia unprepared for AVs — research report

Arcadis Pty Ltd

Monday, 15 October, 2018

Australia unprepared for AVs — research report

Australian property and infrastructure owners are not prepared for autonomous vehicles (AVs) and risk significantly devaluing their assets and missing an opportunity to redevelop for future use, according to a research report by Arcadis.

The report, Are Sydney’s Property and Infrastructure Owners Prepared for Autonomous Mobility?, found that despite 100% of research respondents believing AVs will impact their assets, only 10% currently have a formal plan in place to address AVs.

The lack of asset owner preparedness was further highlighted with 65% of respondents believing that AVs will impact their assets within 5–10 years and 65% stating that AVs will require them to repurpose their assets (such as turning parking stations into commercial spaces or knocking down and rebuilding).

Stephen Taylor, Australian Cities Director, Arcadis: “Our research found that those in charge of our cities’ largest assets are drastically underprepared for the impact AVs will have on our cities.

“We know they are coming and will impact our cities, but those who own and operate our largest assets are either still grappling with what to do or are dragging their feet.

“What is needed is strong government leadership. We need a ‘leaded petrol moment’, where an end-date is set for the driving of analog cars in our cities. This line in the sand will rapidly accelerate adoption and help our cities plan for an autonomous future,” Taylor said.

Michael Rose AM, Executive Chairman, Committee for Sydney: “That autonomous vehicles (AVs) will change cities is unsurprising.

“The impact they will have on our day-to-day lives, on our communities and on our cities will be extraordinary. The reduction in on-road deaths and the ability to facilitate movement around our city with the efficiency of an algorithm will transform how we think about travel.

“But this is not to say that all changes will be entirely positive. The Committee for Sydney has been concerned that there has not been enough thinking about how AVs will reshape where we live, where we work and the public realm around these places.

Indeed — if we don’t consider the trajectory of this new technology, we run the risk of sleepwalking into a future that is hostile to good urban outcomes and great livable places.

“This is why the Committee for Sydney is proud to have partnered with Arcadis in this research into the possible impacts of AVs on our cities. We are delighted that our members from a diverse range of industries have engaged so strongly with this project,” Rose said.

Arcadis, in partnership with the Committee for Sydney, interviewed some of Sydney’s largest private owners of commercial,  residential, retail and mixed-use properties, as well as representatives of local and state government.

The value of assets held by interviewees is estimated at over AU$28bn. The full report can be downloaded here:

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