The Future of Road Safety in a Technological World – How will technology impact the practice of Road Safety?
Over previous decades, road safety practitioners have delivered significantly safer roads through improvements in vehicles and by deploying countermeasures designed to reduce the risks that may be taken by a driver. Education and enforcement have sought to reduce driver risk taking, especially in areas of speed and drug and alcohol use. Behavioural studies and research data have provided evidence of the efficacy of various programmes and produced effective policy. Technology applied to vehicles has primarily focused on reducing injury severity in the event of a crash._x000D_
A new wave of technology is now upon us that is unlike previous technology. This new wave of technology seeks to further reduce the risk of fallible drivers by providing them with alerts or even bypassing them completely and controlling the vehicle to avoid a crash. Current systems of this type include Adaptive Cruise Control and embryonic Collision Avoidance Systems._x000D_
This wave has the potential to be game changing and very disruptive. The role of the driver is likely to change and ultimately there may be no need for a driver at all._x000D_
This paper examines what the future might hold for road users and presents a number of research questions for the Australian road safety community to consider. Discussion will include current technology, how the role of the driver may change, question how driver education may change, and what new risks might be introduced. This discussion will include a reflection on the practice of Road Safety with a changing road system