A state transport minister in Australia has been reported as saying that the rise of driverless vehicles spells the end for public transport.
In the reported comments that put him at odds with the International Association of Public Transport, which said that public authorities must deploy driverless cars in order to prevent an increase in congestion, Andrew Constance, New South Wales transport minister, told The Australian Financial Review that autonomous vehicles would "all be private. In 10 to 15 years' time government will not be in the provision of transport services, it will be all on-demand, private-sector driven".
He wants New South Wales to become a global leader in technology-led transport and has criticised the government-owned State Transit Authority, saying private operators provide better, more reliable services, responding to customer feedback from on-line and mobile apps, the newspaper added.
But UITP said earlier this year that shared fleets of autonomous vehicles only offer the possibility of a better future if public authorities take an active role to ensure that they do not undermine mass transit and that single car occupancy and empty driverless cars are limited and do not lead to increasing and needless trips.
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