Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are poised to revolutionize not only transportation but the way people live and work throughout the world. But are countries ready for an AV-driven future? The 2018 KPMG Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index (AVRI) evaluates the preparedness of 20 countries globally for the introduction of self-driving vehicles, and highlights best practices to help countries accelerate AV adoption.
The AVRI examines where countries are today in terms of progress and capacity for adapting AV technology. The Index evaluates each country according to four pillars that are integral to a country's capacity to adopt and integrate autonomous vehicles: policy & legislation; technology & innovation, infrastructure and consumer acceptance.
The pillars are comprised of a number of variables that reflect the wide range of factors that impact a country's AV readiness, from the availability of electric vehicle charging stations, to AV technology R&D, to the population's willingness to adopt technology, to the regulatory environment.
Countries most ready for autonomous vehicles
According to the AVRI, the 10 countries most prepared for the future of autonomous transportation of those researched are:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- United Arab Emirates
- New Zealand
- South Korea
The Netherlands ranks consistently high — in the top four across all four pillars — with strengths including widespread acceptance of electric cars and a high density of charging stations, a robust telecommunications network, vital for directing AVs, and large scale AV road tests planned. Others in the top five display a range of strengths, with Singapore ranking first in policy & legislation and consumer acceptance, the U.S. and Sweden ranked first and second, respectively, in technology & innovation and the UK ranked in the top five for three pillars.
Accelerating advancement of autonomous vehicles
Overall, a country's economic development correlates strongly with preparedness for AVs, however looking deeper, the AVRI highlights some consistent attributes among the most prepared countries. These include public authorities engaged in and supporting AV development, excellent roads and mobile network infrastructure, and private sector investment and innovation.
“Planning today for an AV future is essential, because it is not a question of if, but when, AVs become the dominant mode of transport,” says Richard Threlfall, Global Head of Infrastructure, KPMG International. "Embracing partnerships between government and the private sector can speed technology development, while helping ensure that the introduction of AVs meet public policy objectives. Finally, it is important to engage all stakeholders — government, business and citizens — in planning for AVs. It's not just about transportation; we need to be prepared for the impact of AVs on all aspects of our lives.”