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Transurban chief executive advocates for driverless cars in Australia
Last Updated: 2016-06-15 16:23 | Xinhua
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The prospect of driving an automated vehicle is becoming more of a reality, Transurban chief executive Scott Charlton told attendees at the Australian Financial Review (AFR) National Infrastructure Summit in Sydney on Wednesday.

Charlton said experts believed driverless cars were only five to ten years away from being on the market, with mass adoption expected by 2040.

He pointed out that driverless cars would reduce the road toll, as a significant proportion of crashes on roads around the world involved a certain degree of human error.

"This technology is not waiting for anyone or any regulation to catch up," Charlton said.

"It (driverless cars) will fundamentally change the way we move around our cities."

He pointed to a noticeable decline in the number of car licenses as millennials moved away from car ownership, and moved towards travel as a more of a service offering, noting ride-sharing services such as Uber.

"They (millennials) want easy and efficient ways to move around the cities without the cost of high capital ownership."

Charlton however noted a range of regulations and laws would need to be changed in Australia before driverless cars were legal, citing a recent paper released in May 2016 by the National Transport Commission (NTC).

NTC chief executive Paul Retter said in May there were a number of barriers that needed to be addressed with Australia's transport ministers when they meet in November 2016.

"Australia's laws need to be ready for the biggest change to our transport system since cars replaced horses," Retter said.

"Amending these laws shouldn't be hard, but making sure the new laws are nationally consistent and encourage innovation while ensuring the safety of all road users will be important."

The summit brought together leaders from Australia's infrastructure and political sector.

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