Since a handful of pioneering motorists formed what is now RAC, we have experienced a dramatic shift in how we move around as a community.
Much can be gleaned from the storied history of motoring in Western Australia, but our most important lesson may be the inevitability of change. Motoring and mobility continues to evolve at a quickening pace, and the degree of transformation we’re approaching will rival the invention of the motor car itself.
At the centre of this transformation is emerging technology such as driverless cars. The introduction of self-driving cars, and the advancement of automated vehicle technology more broadly, will be one of the biggest progressions in motoring since the creation of the seatbelt.
Driverless cars don’t drink and drive, they don’t speed or drive tired and they don’t send text messages behind the wheel. By removing human error - the cause of the vast majority of road deaths and serious injuries - driverless cars are set to make an historic impact on road safety.
Other technologies, including vehicle electrification, connected infrastructure and advanced public transit, will also play critical roles.
Technology alone, however, will not solve our modern mobility challenges. Society itself will play a key role in our future. A future where many of us may not even own a car, instead choosing to use shared services - reducing congestion and environmental impact and connecting our communities in novel ways.
Population growth and urbanisation, societal expectations, sustainability and economic viability will all weigh heavily on future decisions in the transport space.
Challenges will again arise, and we will again meet them. And while the answers and solutions will be different to what’s come before, the questions and challenges will be remarkably similar.
RAC’s history is deeply rooted in the advancement of motoring in Western Australia and its future firmly attached to the State’s impending mobility revolution.
The benefits of that revolution - a safer, cleaner and more connected State which can be affordably and conveniently traversed by all Western Australians - is well worth the journey to come.