Topics / Safety / Changing driving laws to support automated vehicles

Developing legislative reform options to clarify the application of current driver and driving laws to automated vehicles, and to establish legal obligations for automated driving system (ADS) entities.

Changing driving laws to support automated vehicles

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

Purpose

The purpose of this project is to develop legislative reform options to:

  • clarify the application of current driver and driving laws to automated vehicles
  • establish legal obligations for automated driving system (ADS) entities.

Next steps

On Friday, 18 May 2018, transport ministers agreed to a uniform approach across all states and territories to ensure there is always a legal entity in charge of driving when an automated driving system is engaged. This is set out in the NTC Policy Paper Changing driving laws to support automated vehicles.

The NTC proposed the introduction of a uniform law to:

  • allow an automated driving system (rather than a human) to perform the dynamic driving task when it is engaged
  • ensure that there is always a legal entity responsible for driving
  • set out any obligations on relevant entities, including the ADS entity, and users of automated vehicles
  • provide flexible compliance and enforcement options.

Following on from ministerial approval, we will work closely with road agencies and transport departments to develop the detailed policy recommendations and legislative analysis necessary to establish the new purpose-built national law.

 

Background

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.

The 'changing driving laws to support automated vehicles' project is part of a broader national reform program for the NTC, which aims to put end-to-end regulation in place by 2020 to support the safe, commercial deployment and operation of automated vehicles at all levels of automation and was agreed to at the November 2017 Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting.

The NTC collaborates closely with the Commonwealth, Austroads and state and territory governments to ensure an integrated regulatory system can be delivered for deploying vehicles with automated functions.

For more information, see Automated vehicles in Australia.

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Reports

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Project Manager Kirsten McKillop
Last Updated: 13/6/2018