THE biggest change since the car replaced the horse, is how Infrastructure Victoria chief executive Michel Masson has described the impending arrival of autonomous vehicles on our roads.

Mr Masson told a Shipping Australia breakfast in Melbourne would help ease congestion as automotive technology would allow vehicles to get closer to one another than is the case with humans at the wheel.

“The conclusion after our [research] work is the advent of that technology, driverless vehicles – and let’s be clear it’s not a question of if but when,” he said.

“This is probably the biggest thing in the automotive industry since a car replaced the horse.

“So the whole game is, which jurisdiction is actually going to be able to reap those benefits.”

Mr Masson said autonomous vehicles would be “the way to bust congestion”.

“Because technology will not make the mistakes that humans actually make on the road,” he said.

“The technology will actually enable to get cars much closer to each other, thereby having a much greater efficiency in how we use that limited asset which is a road.”

Mr Masson said driverless vehicles would be electric vehicles, powered by renewable energy.

He also noted safety benefits from the autonomous vehicles.

Also speaking at the event was Benn Bekic from WiseTech who expanded upon themes of the importance of data in e-commerce. The breakfast was held at the Langham Hotel in Southbank.