Strategy&PwC: Aviation to lead the way for AV vehicles
The challenge of bringing autonomous vehicle (AV) technology onto roads around the world could be resolved by lessons learned from the civil aviation industry, according to a report from Strategy& PwC.
This could be a critical step forward as the worldwide market for AV technology is predicted to be $557 billion by 2026, according to Allied Market Research.
According to PwC’s report the future of AV is big business with nearly 100 cities having some form of AV pilot program underway and car makers such as Toyota investing $1 billion in the Toyota Research Institute and Hyundai pledging $1.7 billion to AV research and development.
But there are barriers to adoption which include communication protocols, infrastructure standards and liability considerations which are similar hurdles faced by the aviation industry in its infancy.
“Over the past few decades, the civil aviation industry has resolved similar issues, leading to an impeccable safety record and high level of trust among passengers - even as passenger jets approach fully autonomous operation. In that way, aviation lights the path for autonomous vehicles,” comment Strategy&PwC.
According to the report, How aviation can guide the future of autonomous driving, AV technology is ready to take off - but technology alone is not enough:
- Communications standards need to provide a single, universal means by which AV can interact with each other, the road, pedestrians, and remote networks
- Infrastructure including lane markings need to be redesigned with different materials and standards to allow AVs to manoeuvre safely in varied weather and light conditions
- Road geometry and signage must change
- Regulatory frameworks for AVs need revamping as they were originally designed for driver-based vehicles
“Visionary governments should facilitate its adoption by learning from aviation and crafting the infrastructure and regulations that will deliver the benefits of safer and more efficient transport. Moreover, private stakeholders should rethink their business models to become more relevant and monetise their offering in a very different automotive future,” says the report.
According to Strategy&PwC the underlying rationale for automation is the same for both industries: safety is paramount, with efficiency, reliability, congestion management and other factors secondary though important.
The report suggests three areas in which AV stakeholders can learn from civil aviation include:
Civil aviation uses physical and technological infrastructure to maintain high safety standards on the ground, aboard aircraft and on satellites. Communication and collision-avoidance systems are all multiply redundant.
“AVs will require a similar suite of redundant tracking and communication systems to allow vehicles to reliably reach their destination. Some technologies will be built into vehicles. Infrastructure will need to include sensors for AV detection, systems for lane guidance, and various levels of control from traffic monitoring systems,” says the report.
International authorities set regulations that airlines, aviation manufacturers and air traffic control entities abide by. There are consistent standards for interoperability and safety.
“The AV industry will ultimately require consistent standards across borders. Consumers will adopt AV technology only if it is safe and seamless in different countries and jurisdictions. In particular, governments will need to coalesce around clear standards in areas such as vehicle testing, insurance liability, and cybersecurity,” comment Strategy&PwC.
- Public-private ecosystem
Aircraft fly autonomously due to the back-up systems from pilots, control centres and air traffic control. A network of public and private stakeholders is responsible for operations, monitoring and maintenance.
“The implementation of AV technology will require input from an ecosystem of public and private stakeholders. These include manufacturers, technology companies, traffic authorities, telecommunication players, data providers, fleet managers, emergency management services, insurers and cybersecurity firms,” says the report.
“The underlying rationale for automation is the same for both industries: safety is paramount, with efficiency, reliability, congestion management and other factors secondary though important.
“What works for aviation can work for automotive,” concludes the report.
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