As with the slow-but-sure introduction of electric vehicles, vehicles capable of advanced autonomous driving will carry a high price tag for some time before the technology filters down through the market.
According to data group Defin'd, this is one reason the first Australian buyers of autonomous vehicles will be those living in the most cashed-up areas of our capital cities.
A 2014 OEC study also suggests high-income earners are likely to be time-poor, and while the latter is not unique to those on good money, the combination of wealth and long work hours would likely motivate the adoption of autonomous tech in a bid to scrape back some personal time - or time for yet more work.
Areas considered most likely to see a sooner-than-later influx of autonomous vehicles include:
Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, Southbank, Melbourne, South Yarra, Toorak, Malvern, Malvern East, Hawthorn, Kew, Glen Iris, Camberwell, Canterbury, Balwyn, Balwyn North, Doncaster, Templestowe, Doncaster, Glen Waverley, Brighton
Baulkham Hills, Castle Hill, West Pennant Hills, Wahroonga, St Ives, Pymble, Killara, Lindfield, Roseville, Chatswood, Artarmon, Hunters Hill, Mosman, Vaucluse, Pyrmont, Sydney, Alexandria, Bellevue Hill, Woollahra
Kenmore, Chapel Hill, Indoropilly, Bardon, Ashgrove, Brisbane City, Spring Hill, Paddington, Fortitude Valley, Teneriffe, Bulimba, Ascot, Clayfield, Coorparoo, Camp Hill, Carindale, Sunnybank Hills, Calamvale
Duncraig, Stirling, Osborne Park, Mount Hawthorn, Wembley, Floreat, City Beach, Subiaco, West Perth, Perth, South Perth, Nedlands, Claremont, Dalkeith, Cottesloe, South Perth, Dalkeith, Mosman Park, Applecross, Mount Pleasant, Bentley
Apart from their wealth, these areas are also described as suffering from heavy congestion, while some - such as the 'corridor' from Port Melbourne to Templestowe also suffer a lack of comprehensive public transport infrastructure.
"Households in these suburbs are perhaps more reliant on driving than others and therefore place greater value on motor vehicle technology and comfort features," says Ashish Ahluwalia, Defin'd principal.
Prosperity, however, seems the pervading concept for each list.
The report also suggests, in what might be among the most obvious givens this year, these areas will be the first to benefit from necessary infrastructure upgrades.
"This can help governments and manufacturers can start to plan the longer term infrastructure needs and road modifications that may be necessitated, and develop roll-out plans with appropriate resource prioritisation,” Ahluwalia says.
Still, it may be some time before Australians are prepared to trust autonomous driving technology, with a recent Ford study revealing only 52 per cent of Aussies are 'hopeful' about the self-driving future.
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