Roads / Safety / Automated vehicle trial guidelines

Developing national guidelines for on-road trials of automated vehicles in Australia.

Automated vehicle trial guidelines

  • Scoping > 
  • Analysing issues > 
  • Analysing options > 
  • Implementing


Automated vehicles are likely to fundamentally change transport and society by improving road safety, freight productivity and network efficiency.

However, current regulations do not adequately support automated road vehicles. In November 2016, Australian transports ministers agreed to a phased reform program so that conditionally automated vehicles can operate safely and legally on our roads before 2020, and highly and fully automated vehicles from 2020.

We are implementing a roadmap of reform to prepare Australia for automated road vehicles. Phase one of this reform agenda is developing national guidelines for on-road trials of automated vehicles in Australia.

Next steps

We released a discussion paper seeking feedback from manufacturers, technology providers, industry groups and road users on the development of national guidelines for automated vehicle trials.

The paper:

  • proposes key criteria for inclusion in the guidelines
  • identifies key issues for supporting trials based on other Australian and international frameworks.

Consultation closed on Monday, 16 January 2017.

The following projects are also part of the roadmap of reform:


Our work in this area began in November 2015 after the Transport and Infrastructure Council asked us to identify regulatory barriers to safely introducing more automated road and rail vehicles in Australia.

In November 2016, the NTC released a policy paper, Regulatory reforms for automated road vehicles. This concluded a one year project to research the regulatory barriers and develop recommendations to support future reform.

Transport ministers approved all eight recommendations outlined in the policy paper and charged the NTC with delivering the recommended regulatory reform agenda.

For more information, see Automated vehicles in Australia.

Get involved


Contact us

Project Manager Natasha Bolsin
Last Updated: 16/2/2017