Discussions begin on national approach to driverless vehicle trials
The National Transport Commission (NTC) has released a discussion paper, called National guidelines for automated vehicle trials, appealing for Australia-wide stakeholder input into elements required to support the trial of automated vehicle on our roads.
In order for the on-road real-world trials of autonomous vehicles to commence and develop a national framework for the emerging transportation shift, criteria are needed to guide the initiative. The NTC discussion paper offers relevant parties from government, businesses and the public to put their concerns, requirements, suggestions and constructive, innnovative ideas.
Acting Chief Executive of the NTC Geoff Allan said the autonomous vehicle trials are the crucial step in ensuring any automated system operates safely and effectively in Australia.
“Developing a single and nationally-agreed set of guidelines would help promote Australia as a test bed for automated vehicles by providing consistent conditions for trials, while at the same time encouraging innovation,” Mr Allan said. “The guidelines will also help support cross-border trials.”
“By harmonising trial conditions and expectations across jurisdictions, governments can work with industry to further explore the potential economic, environmental and safety benefits of this technology,” he said.
Ministers endorsed the development of trial guidelines for automated vehicles earlier this month, as part of the NTC report, Regulatory reforms for automated road vehicles policy paper.
NTC Chief Executive Paul Retter said in an earlier November press release that removing regulatory roadblocks will realise and ensure the benefits of automated vehicles, including improved road safety, freight efficiency and easing road congestion.
“Inconsistent rules, regulations and application procedures for automated vehicles are potential obstacles to deploying this disruptive technology in the future,” Mr Retter said. “Our goal is to identify and remove regulatory barriers, and avoid a patchwork of conflicting requirements in different states and territories.”
Retter says the commencing of trials with input from the right parties and correct execution will improve the introduction and transition of vehicular autonomy.
“By harmonising trial conditions and expectations across jurisdictions, governments can work with industry to further explore the potential economic, environmental and safety benefits of this technology,” he said. “The guidelines will also help support cross-border trials.”
Input into the autonomous vehicle trial guidelines can be submitted until 4pm Monday 16 January 2017 via the NTC website.
In partnership with Austroads, the NTC will present recommendations on guidelines to transport ministers at the Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting scheduled for May 2017.
To make submissions to the autonomous vehicle trials discussion paper, sign up, login and/or subscribe at the NTC discussion paper link here.