Australia as a ‘living lab’
Australia is a perfect test bed for new robotic technologies, as has been evidenced by the testing of drone technologies in Australia by tech giants such as Google [ABC14]. Australia has a large land mass with scattered settlements (low population density), a wealthy population of early adopters of technology, and regulators that generally work in well with industry (see Case Study – UAV outback challenge). The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources [PCA17], acknowledges the opportunities this offers for Australia. Their report recommended that:
“the Commonwealth Government facilitate and encourage trials of automated vehicles in Australia”
This is primarily to encourage public acceptance but is also in recognition of the associated economic and social benefits.