Austroads: Transport Research and Trends

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Benefits and Costs of Providing a Minimum Physical Infrastructure Standard for the Operation of Automated Driving

March 17, 2022

Physical road infrastructure such as pavement markings and signals may have an important role to play to support the uptake of automated vehicles (AVs). Austroads has recently completed a project to provide road agencies with clear advice on investing in physical infrastructure to support the operation of AVs.

This webinar, presented by Andrew Somers, Simon Xue and Elnaz Irannezhad, provides a detailed overview of the advice that addresses which infrastructure types should be prioritised for investment, as well as the timing and scale for that investment.

The advice has been developed against a backdrop of significant uncertainty around the future of AVs. These uncertainties include the year high-level AVs will become market-ready and the level of reliance of future AVs on physical infrastructures. To inform the development of the advice, the project first undertook an uptake forecast, an infrastructure assessment and economic analysis.

Having accounted for the various uncertainties of future AVs, the project has found the greatest return can be achieved by investments that will:

  • support current lower capability AVs
  • offer some advantages for human drivers
  • be strategically relevant to future higher-level AVs.