Commonwealth Bank readies customers for driverless vehicles

Head of the bank’s technology innovation team envisages significant impact to retail, insurance and logistics industries

Commonwealth Bank is offering its large corporate and institutional business customers advice on how to take advantage of the arrival of driverless vehicles.

The head of the bank’s technology innovation team, Dilan Rajasingham, envisages a significant impact to retail, insurance and logistics industries from the rise of autonomous vehicles.

“As the pace of innovation in this space continues to gain momentum, autonomous vehicles are likely to be in use far more quickly than most of us realise,” Rajasingham wrote in a whitepaper published this week. “And, like the previous digital revolution, they will create incremental but lasting impacts throughout the value chain of every business.

“As the driverless revolution takes hold, business models will begin to evolve.”

He said the bank would continue to investigate the technology to help customers adapt to the ‘changing demands’ autonomous vehicles present.

A number of manufacturers are racing to build the first fully autonomous vehicles. Earlier this week, Ford announced its plan to mass produce driverless cars and have them in commercial operation in a ride-hailing service by 2021.

GM, Toyota, Nissan, Volvo, and Audi have declared they’ll be offering advanced automation within a decade. Google is public-road testing it’s own fleet which have self-driven more than 1.5 million miles.

Tesla, which opened a showroom in Martin Place opposite a historic Commonwealth Bank branch last month, offers vehicles with autopilot and ‘adaptive cruise control’ settings.

Earlier this year, the NSW state parliament established a parliamentary inquiry to examine the capacity of driverless vehicle technology to deliver improved road safety and lower road tolls.

Last year in a submission to a federal parliamentary inquiry, Telstra said the government should undertake an assessment of the social benefits that would flow from mandating the use of autonomous vehicles, such as self-driving cars, on Australian roads.

In a statement accompanying the whitepaper, titled Driverless vehicles: Opportunities and challenges in a new networked world, the bank said: “The advent of driverless cars promises a revolution on our roads…The impact will be far-reaching, radically transforming everything from the way the global community uses and manages energy resources, to the location of our shops and where we live and work.”

Rajasingham, who leads the bank’s explorations of new technologies such as quantum computing and blockchain, writes that: “The advent of the driverless cars is a powerful illustration of both the benefits and the challenges that the internet of things will generate.

“While driverless cars have enormous potential to improve our quality of life, they also raise critical questions about how we create a digitally managed ecosystem that is robust, highly functional and exceptionally secure.”

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Tags GoogleFordNSW State GovernmentCommonwealth Bank of Australiadriverless vehiclesautonomous vehiclesTeslaInternet of Things (IoT)

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