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Back to the Future for Transport

Back to the Future for Transport - Wed 21 Oct

On the day made famous in the movie “Back to the Future”, Transport Minister Simon Bridges has painted a picture of a future transport system driven by new technology.

Speaking at the Climate Change & Business Conference, Minister Bridges said his vision of transport in the future includes “autonomous electric vehicles that you don’t own, but that you use as a service.”

Autonomous vehicles have no driver and a passenger rides in the car similar to riding in a train or bus, but with door-to-door service.

“It may not be a world record, but I think I hold the record for time in an autonomous vehicle – 45 minutes stuck in Tokyo traffic. So the technology is here now. Germany expects to see autonomous vehicles on their autobahns within 2 years,” said Minister Bridges.

Minister Bridges describes the individual car an under-utilised asset and, by increasing its utility, road congestion and carbon emissions can be significantly reduced.

“The car, and maybe the parking lot, is one of the most under-utilised assets. On average, less than 80% of the space in the car is used, with often only one seat used and the car sitting in the driveway or carpark most of the time.”

“This outlook for autonomous electric vehicles is very exciting, but, being realistic, we are doing things now on the ground to address transport and climate change issues. This will include reviewing vehicle emission standards next year,” concluded Minister Bridges.

Minister Bridges spoke at a session on the role of transport in a low carbon New Zealand at the Climate Change & Business Conference. The link to his formal presentation is here.

The Climate Change & Business Conference is being held today in Auckland. For further information see climateandbusiness.com

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