(Australian Associated Press)
Driverless cars could become the norm for NSW drivers in the next few years.
Autonomous electric cars are the “future of driving” in NSW, Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts said after testing the self-driving Tesla model S car.
Using cameras, radars and sensors, the car is able to navigate at 100km/h, change lanes and automatically steer, accelerate and brake.
Each car’s retail price is around $120,000 and Tesla is working on producing a smaller, lower-cost vehicle, as well as build more infrastructure to support battery charging stations.
Mr Roberts said the government would do everything it could to support the new technology, including lobbying to axe the luxury car tax which applies to electric cars.
“I’ve fallen in love with this car. Certainly we’ll do everything we can in this government to ensure that we roll out more and more,” he said after his 10-minute test drive outside Parliament House.
Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham, who also took a spin along with Labor MP Penny Sharpe, said the pair finally agreed on an issue.
“I think all sides of politics can see the benefits and get behind this. Once you’ve experienced the vehicles you realise there’s no going back – they are the future,” he said.
Mr Buckingham called on the government to introduce more incentives for electric cars.
“We could consider sharing transit lanes, reducing tolls, providing private parking and infrastructure for electric vehicles … and reducing some of the charges, potentially stamp duty, registration and luxury car tax,” he said.
“The benefits are enormous.”