Automated vehicle program

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Automated vehicles – sometimes known as autonomous vehicles or “driverless cars” – offer the possibility of fundamentally changing transport and society by improving road safety, mobility, freight productivity and by reducing road congestion. But current laws do not support their use on public roads. We need nationally-consistent reforms that support innovation and safety. This will allow Australians to access the benefits of this technology.

Our reform program focuses on achieving national consistency. Our goal is end-to-end regulation to support the safe commercial deployment and operation of automated vehicles at all levels of automation in Australia.

Watch our video

Would you travel in an automated vehicle?

Take a look at how we're working with government, industry and the community to facilitate the safe, commercial deployment of automated vehicles onto Australian roads.

Current automated vehicle reforms

The Automated Vehicle Program Approach document outlines our current automated vehicle reform program, including purpose, work completed to date, further planned reforms and interaction with other agencies. This document will be regularly updated as work progresses.
 

We are working on several, parallel reforms to achieve end-to-end regulation for automated vehicles. Transport ministers have already agreed several key policy decisions, including:

  • who is legally in control
  • the development of a purpose-built national driving law
  • safety at market entry (first supply).

The federal government is currently implementing the agreed first supply recommendations from the Safety assurance system for automated vehicles project.

Our current reforms consider:

    Completed work

    We have completed a number of reforms as part of our program for end-to-end regulation to support the safe commercial deployment and operation of automated vehicles in Australia, including:

    Other government actions to prepare for automated vehicles

    The Commonwealth’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development is leading the national transport technology strategy, including addressing implications on cyber security, and keeping Australia’s vehicle design rules up to date with international standards as they relate to automated vehicles.

    State and territory governments are enabling trials of these vehicles under their respective laws and regulations.

    Austroads is exploring the impacts of connected and automated vehicles on traffic operations such as road infrastructure.

    The Commonwealth’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development is leading the national transport technology strategy, including addressing implications on cyber security, and keeping Australia’s vehicle design rules up to date with international standards as they relate to automated vehicles.

    State and territory governments are enabling trials of these vehicles under their respective laws and regulations.

    Austroads is exploring the impacts of connected and automated vehicles on traffic operations such as road infrastructure.

    Trials and demonstrations

    For information about automated vehicle trials and demonstrations taking place across Australia, visit the Austroads website.