National transport commission releases discussion paper for automated vehicle trial guidelines

30 November 2016

In November this year, the State and Territory transport and infrastructure ministers asked the National Transport Commission (NTC) to develop guidelines for automated vehicle trials.

While the ACCC’s report does not include consideration of common terms in dealer agreements, it does include a number of contract terms of concern in the franchising sector which includes motor vehicle retailing.

On 22 November 2016, the NTC released a discussion paper which set out proposed key criteria for those guidelines.

The discussion paper states that highly or fully automated vehicles cannot legally operate (including for testing) on public roads in the current regulatory environment. The NTC identified 716 different legislative provisions which it considers could be regulatory barriers to the testing and use of automated vehicles in Australia.

In the discussion paper, the NTC addresses:

  • How trialling organisations should apply for exemptions to run automated vehicles on public roads;
  • How automated vehicle trials should be managed (including suitable locations, surveillance, vehicle standards and changes to infrastructure);
  • Safety management plans including failure warnings and transitions to manual control;
  • Insurance; and
  • The collection and reporting of data on trial outcomes.

The NTC has called for submissions on the discussion paper by Monday, 16 January 2017.

Based on the feedback received in submissions, the NTC will develop draft guidelines for ministers to consider at the May 2017 Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting. If ministers endorse those guidelines, the next step will be for all levels of government to adopt and enact them.

A copy of the discussion paper is available here.

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