Which countries are most prepared for autonomous vehicles?


As governments around the world plan for the prospect of autonomous vehicles, KPMG has published a new index showing which countries are most prepared.

In its 2018 KPMG Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index (AVRI), the company assessed the preparedness of 20 countries for the introduction of self-driving vehicles.

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.
— Richard Threlfall, KPMG International

The study, billed as the first of its kind, looked at the readiness of countries for autonomous vehicles by evaluating them against four pillars seen as integral to their preparations for AV adoption and integration: policy & legislation, technology & innovation, infrastructure and consumer acceptance.

“The mobility freedom provided by AVs will have a transformational impact on society,” said Richard Threlfall, Global Head of Infrastructure, KPMG International.

“With the tremendous opportunity, though, comes significant challenges that have to be addressed in order for countries to be able to realize the benefits of AVs.”

The most prepared countries for autonomous vehicles are…

In first place in the index came the Netherlands, which ranked in the top four countries against each of the pillars used for the study. The research found that the country’s widespread acceptance of electric cars and high density of charging stations, a robust telecommunications network for directing autonomous vehicles and planned large-scale autonomous vehicle road tests were all strengths in its preparedness for an autonomous future.

Second-placed Singapore ranked first in terms of policy & legislation and consumer acceptance, while the US beat Sweden to be seen as strongest when it came to technology & innovation. The UK, meanwhile, ranked in the top five for three of the pillars assessed in the research.

Overall, the AVRI found that out of those it researched, the 10 countries most prepared for autonomous vehicles are:

  1. Netherlands

  2. Singapore

  3. United States

  4. Sweden

  5. United Kingdom

  6. Germany

  7. Canada

  8. United Arab Emirates

  9. New Zealand

  10. South Korea

The research noted a strong correlation between a country’s economic development and its preparedness for autonomous vehicles.

However, it also highlighted some consistent attributes among the countries most prepared for the advent of self-driving vehicles, including public authorities that were engaged in and supported the development of autonomous vehicles, 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,” said Threlfall.

“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.”