Changing driving laws to support automated vehicles


This project looked at how automated vehicles and automated driving systems (ADS) should be treated by the law.

We examined two issues:

  • how to apply current driver and driving laws to automated vehicles
  • what the legal obligations for ADS entities should be.

Project outcomes

One of the project's recommendations was to develop purpose-built legislation to allow an ADS to drive an automated vehicle in place of a human.

This proposed legislation would:

  • allow an ADS (rather than a human) to drive the vehicle
  • ensure that there is always a legal entity responsible for driving
  • set out any obligations on relevant entities, including the ADS entity, and users of automated vehicles
  • provide flexible compliance and enforcement options.

In May 2018, ministers approved this recommendation to ensure there is always a legal entity in charge of driving when an automated driving system is engaged.

We are now working through the detail of this new national law as part of our work on in-service safety of automated vehicles.

Media Release

A ground-breaking approach to driving laws in Australia will see the development of purpose-built legislation to allow an automated driving system (ADS) to drive more automated motor vehicles in place of a human.

Contact us

Project manager Kirsten McKillop
Contact email