Since the first Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index (AVRI) was published in January 2018, there has been a huge acceleration in investment in AV technology, policy adoption by governments to encourage AVs and media coverage of the topic.
The 2019 AVRI adds five new countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Finland, Israel and Norway) for a total of 25; new measures including a consumer opinion poll on AVs; and provides greater insights into individual countries, drawing on the expertise of colleagues across the KPMG network.
Once again, The Netherlands ranked #1. Notably, it is working with neighboring countries to launch huge platoons of driverless trucks to transport flowers on major “Tulip Corridor” routes from Amsterdam to Antwerp and Rotterdam to the Ruhr valley.
Singapore, a powerhouse of technological innovation, ranked #2. With a leading university, it has created a test town for driverless vehicles complete with traffic lights, bus stops, skyscrapers and a rain machine that recreates its stormy tropical weather.
Countries were assessed on 25 different measures within four pillars: policy & legislation; technology and innovation; infrastructure; and consumer acceptance.
New this year, KPMG conducted consumer opinion research to better understand public sentiment about AVs. The findings revealed a striking correlation between countries lower in AV preparedness having the most positive opinion regarding AVs.
The results of the 2019 Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index tell us that all countries are making progress toward a future with autonomous vehicles. It shows that governments are prioritizing the modernization of transport and taking steps that consider the real-life impact of driverless cars and trucks.
AVs should lead to much cleaner and efficient use of roads, as well as making them safer. Much of
this will result from the shift from fossil fuels to electric vehicles (EVs), with most AVs expected to
run on electricity. In September 2018, the United Kingdom joined Canada, China, Finland, France,
India, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden in pledging that at least 30 percent of
new vehicles sold will be EVs by 2030.9 Norway has already exceeded this target, and enters the
AVRI this year in third place, partly as a result of its advanced adoption of EVs.
Examples of how AVs may affect specific industries
—— Policing: fewer resources may be needed to police roads with AVs programmed to obey traffic laws.
—— Healthcare: fewer traffic accidents may mean less demand for emergency surgery and fewer organ donors. AVs
may make it easier for older and infirm people to travel to appointments, allowing greater centralization of services.
—— Air and rail: fewer passengers on some routes if AVs allow users to relax or sleep their way to long-distance
—— Media and advertising: AV users freed from driving could turn their attention from audio to video, written word and
social media; advertising could be targeted by location, potentially subsidizing the cost of travel.
—— Power generation: EVs including AVs, will increase demand, but ability to choose when to charge at home could
boost variable-output renewable power.
—— Power grids: home charging will require strengthened local grids, but smart control of when to charge as well as
use of plugged-in vehicles as batteries could smooth demand.
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