Technology

What is the NTC doing to prepare Australia for automated vehicles?

Blind Spot Detection
Image source: Volkswagen

Australia’s National Transport Commission (NTC) has been working with government, industry, and the community to establish a regulatory framework for the introduction of automated vehicles on public roads. It has just released a video to inform us of the work done so far.

The video, called ‘Would you travel in an automated vehicle?’, looks to answer the following questions:

Would you travel in an automated vehicle? How can we ensure these vehicles and associated technologies are safe? What will it mean for current definitions of a ‘driver’ and ‘control’ within the law? How will they be assessed under motor vehicle injury insurance schemes? How will data generated by vehicles be used by governments?

Safety, insurance, law, and the use of data

There’s no doubt that transport is about to experience major changes, just one aspect of which is automated vehicles, but exactly when these changes will occur is less certain. But ahead of that there’s a lot of work to do in preparation, and the NTC is on track to help this technology get on the road.

“Evidence suggests that automated vehicle technology has the potential to improve safety, efficiency and mobility in our communities. However, there are important questions surrounding safety, insurance, the use of data, as well as how we define a ‘driver’ in the context of an automated vehicle,” says the NTC’s Chief Executive, Paul Retter.

“However, there are important questions surrounding safety, insurance, the use of data, as well as how we define a ‘driver’ in the context of an automated vehicle,” said Mr Retter.

“These issues are being addressed by the NTC as part of a comprehensive program of work being undertaken in collaboration with all levels of government to create an end-to-end regulatory system for automated vehicles.”

The work NTC is doing covers not only fully-autonomous vehicles on the road, but also partial automation features.

“Manufacturers are progressively introducing automated features, such as braking, acceleration and steering. They still envisage a human driver taking control of the vehicle at some point in the journey or if something goes wrong,” said Mr Rutter.

What’s next?

The NTC is soon to release a regulation impact statement (RIS) for public consultation on a safety assurance regime. This aims to ensure both public confidence, and safety standards for automated features and systems in vehicles on sale in the Australian market.

“We aim to have an end-to-end regulatory system in place so that all levels of automated vehicles can operate safely and legally on our roads from 2020.

“Our focus is on ensuring the regulatory system remains flexible enough to accommodate evolving technologies as they come to market while always prioritising public safety,” said Mr Retter.

Watch the video

More from iMOVE CRC

Most Popular

To Top