2020: Next phase of automation approved

Automated trucks platoon.
Automated trucks platoon. Kjell Olausson

THE AUTO future continues to march forward as the Nation's transport ministers approve two key automated vehicle reforms.

The reforms included national enforcement guidelines and an agreement to progress the development of a safety assurance system.

The reforms were part of the Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting in early November.

"Ministers have agreed to a goal of having an end-to-end regulatory system in place by 2020 to support the safe, commercial deployment of automated vehicles at all levels of automation. This is an important milestone towards that goal,” chief executive of the National Transport Commission (NTC), Paul Retter said.

"Australia is one of the first countries to make this bold commitment to 2020. We want to give certainty to manufacturers by ensuring our regulatory system is flexible and responsive to encourage innovation.”

The National Enforcement Guidelines provide guidance to police for applying the road rules to automated vehicles.

"These guidelines provide clarity around who is in control of a vehicle at different levels of automation. They confirm that a human driver is responsible for the driving task when conditional automation is engaged,” Mr Retter said.

Transport ministers have also directed the NTC to develop a safety assurance system for automated road vehicles.

"Ministers agree that government has a role in assuring the safety of automated driving systems, just as governments have a role in assuring driver safety today through driver licensing regimes,” Mr Retter said. 

The NTC is working with the Commonwealth, state and territory governments to implement a safety assurance system by 2020. The next stage is to develop a COAG Regulation Impact Statement on legislative options in early 2018.

Topics:  national transport commission transport and infrastructure

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