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Regulatory options to assure automated vehicle safety in Australia

28 July 2017

Governments must not impose additional regulatory burdens on businesses seeking to use highly automated vehicles. The ATA’s submission to the NTC on assuring automated vehicle safety voices strong opposition to any regulatory model that threatens trucking businesses or impedes continued innovation.

In its discussion paper, the NTC looked at four regulatory options, including accrediting vehicle operators and other businesses. The ATA submission argues that accreditation would be complex, costly and unnecessary for small trucking businesses. The accreditation option is not internationally consistent and would have a significant impact on vehicle ownership.

The ATA advocates for a national approach that builds on the existing capabilities of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development vehicle standards branch, with Commonwealth management of new approvals and state/National Heavy Vehicle Regulator responsibility for in-service compliance.

The ultimate outcome of the introduction of automated vehicles should be a safer road system. Government should aim for a safety outcome that is much safer than using conventional vehicles.

Importantly, any legislative model assuring safety must be nationally consistent and recognise the unique Australian road and road user context.