Preparing for more automated road and rail vehicles
- Scoping >
- Analysing issues >
- Analysing options >
Automated vehicles offer the possibility of fundamentally changing transport and society by improving road safety, freight productivity and by reducing road congestion.
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.
To provide certainty on the use of existing technology, transport ministers reaffirmed the existing policy position that the human driver remains in full legal control of a vehicle that is partially or conditionally automated, unless or until a new position is developed and agreed. These recommendations and policy positions are set out in the NTC policy paper – Regulatory reforms for automated road vehicles.
We are implementing a roadmap of reform to prepare Australia for automated road vehicles. To do this, the following initiatives have commenced as part of a phased approach to facilitate the testing and trialling of automated vehicles in the short term, and prepare for the safe deployment of automated vehicles on public roads in the medium to long term:
- develop national guidelines to support automated vehicle trials
- clarify who is in control of a vehicle with different levels of driving automation
- develop a comprehensive performance-based safety assurance regime for increasingly automated vehicles
- remove regulatory barriers in Australian Road Rules and other transport laws that assume a human driver.