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New forecasts have predicted a slower uptake in driverless vehicles within Australia than first thought, according to the IAG Research Centre.

The latest findings suggest a penetration rate of mostly driverless vehicles will reach only 20 per cent of the total vehicle fleet by 2035. The research also revealed that by 2040 mainly driverless vehicles will account for 48 per cent of cars on the road and fully driverless vehicles will be 14 per cent of cars on the road.

Moreover, the research bucks the trend of international and local research that autonomous vehicles would be hitting the mainstream market sooner rather than later. Instead of full autonomy, a period of assisted driving will become more common with over 90 per cent penetration expected by 2040.

IAG’s head of strategy, David Harrington, said that one of the main barriers preventing a mass adoption of autonomous vehicles is the complexity and cost of installing automation systems.

“Much of this cost is the computer coding involved,” he said.

“A fully autonomous vehicle requires more software code than a typical passenger jet plane.”

Perhaps just as pressing a barrier is the co-ordination of regulations required among state governments. IAG note that up to 700 separate laws and regulations must be changed in order to allow the transition to fully driverless vehicles.

“We’re still early on the pathway to driverless vehicles but expect rapid adoption of driver assistance systems,” IAG said in an investor’s presentation earlier today.

“Private motor vehicle ownership will continue to be important but we expect an accelerated shift to shared vehicle trips after 2030.”

The full details from IAG’s Investor Day report can be read here.