Netherlands ranks 1st in autonomous vehicle readiness, US places 3rd

The recently-released Automated Vehicles Readiness Index (AVRI) report by auditing firm KPMG has revealed that the Netherlands is the world’s most autonomous vehicle-ready country. The AVRI, which ranks nations across the globe according to their readiness for self-driving technologies, has also placed the United States in third place, right behind Singapore.

KPMG International evaluated countries according to four particular pillars. To make it to the index’s rankings, nations must perform well on policy and legislation, technology and innovation, infrastructure, and finally, consumer acceptance. The countries’ scores for each pillar are then aggregated and ranked.

Topping the list was the Netherlands, which was the clear world leader in the AVRI. The European nation ranked 1st in infrastructure, 2nd in consumer acceptance, 3rd in policy and legislation, and 4th in technology and innovation. The country’s aggregated score was 27.73 points, placing it well ahead of other nations in the index.

According to an EE Times report, the Netherlands’ impressive performance was attributed largely to its AV-friendly infrastructure. As of writing, the Netherlands boasts the highest density of electric vehicle charging points in the world. By 2016, the European nation already offered 26,789 charging points for the public. The country is also known for its well-maintained road network, which is currently rated as one of the world’s best.

In a statement to Geospatial World News, KPMG Netherlands Digital Advisory Manager Stijn de Groen noted that the country, even at this point, is already prepared for the upcoming autonomous vehicle revolution.

“The Dutch ecosystem for AVs is ready. The intensively-used Dutch roads are very well developed and maintained, and other indicators like telecoms infrastructure are also very strong. In addition, the Dutch government Ministry of Infrastructure has opened the public roads to large-scale tests with self-driving passenger cars and lorries,” the KPMG executive said, according to a GWN report.

AVRI’s second-placer on its rankings is Singapore, topping the list both in policy and legislation as well as consumer acceptance. According to KPMG, the Asian city-state received high marks in these pillars due to its recent amendment to its Road and Traffic Act, which allowed autonomous vehicles to be tested on public roads. Singaporeans were also found to be readily accepting of self-driving cars as a means of transportation.

Singapore also ranked 8th in technology and innovation and 2nd in infrastructure. The Asian city-state earned an aggregated score of 26.08 points.

The United States ranks third in the AVRI, despite ranking first in technology and innovation. Among all the countries in the index, the US earned near-maximum ratings on industry partnerships and research and development hubs, among other factors. The country’s overall score, however, was hampered by its low ratings on patents and overall usage of electric cars. The limited adoption and actual capabilities of fully autonomous vehicles also contributed to the country’s score.

Overall, the US ranked 7th in infrastructure, 10th in policy and legislation and 4th in consumer acceptance. The United States’ aggregated score in the AVRI is 24.75 points.

In a statement to GWN, KPMG US Infrastructure Advisory Principal Timothy D. Wilschetz noted that the country, while highly innovative in the autonomous vehicle sphere, still suffers from several setbacks. Wilschetz believes, however, that US regulators have the power to change this trend.

“The US has a highly innovative but largely disparate environment with little predictability regarding the uniform adoption of national standards for AVs. Therefore, the prospect of widespread driverless vehicles is unlikely in the near future. However, federal policy and regulatory guidance could certainly accelerate early adoption, particularly concerning limited freight applications such as truck platooning.”

Top 10 countries most prepared for the future of autonomous transportation by KPMG

  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
Netherlands ranks 1st in autonomous vehicle readiness, US places 3rd
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