Driverless cars will end parking fines and other road offences
DRIVERLESS cars will bring an end to parking fines, forcing councils to survive without its major revenue raiser, engineering experts say.
Despite fully autonomous vehicles being several years away from hitting the roads in Australia, councils needed to start looking at the long-term impacts, experts claim.
Swinburne University transport engineering Associate Professor Hussein Dia said driverless vehicles would be the death knell of parking tickets, leaving councils without a major cash windfall.
“Councils make heaps of money from parking tickets but these vehicles will be smart enough to know where they are allowed to park and how long they can park for,” Prof Dia said.
“These cars are going to obey the law 99.9 per cent of the time. They aren’t going to drink and drive, fall asleep at the wheel or text and drive.”
Prof Dia said wasting time finding a vacant spot would also become a thing of the past because drivers could arrive outside their destination and let the vehicle park itself elsewhere.
This scenario is quickly moving closer becoming a reality as Uber and Tesla develop the technology.
Prof Dia said councils should rethink building more carparks as they won’t be needed in future.
“We have found in our research that carparking can be reduced by up to 83 per cent with autonomous vehicles,” he said.
“It will reduce the demand for these multi-deck carpark buildings.”
Victorian Local Governance Association chief executive Kathryn Arndt said driverless cars may become a smart roaming taxi and may not necessarily be owned by a person.
“It would be expected that there will be very little idle time as they will be ferrying passengers most of the time,” she said.
“Privately owned vehicles will become redundant and therefore this will change the way in which residential, community and commercial carparking requirements and zoning are planned.”
Ms Arndt said councils that rely on paid parking would need to think about the impact of driverless cars on their revenue.
She said councils also needed to plan for supporting infrastructure such as fast charging stations or battery swap facilities as most driverless cars may be battery or hybrid cars.