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Call to limit regulatory burden on automated vehicles

ATA says governments must not impose additional regulatory burden on companies looking to adopt automated driving technologies


In a post on LinkedIn, Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Safety and Skills Adviser Melissa Weller has urged governments to limit regulatory burdens on companies looking to integrate automated vehicles into their operations.

The call comes after the National Transport Comission (NTC) released a discussion paper in June this year calling for feedback on four regulatory options; continuing the current approach, self-certification, pre-market approval and accreditation.

NTC chief executive Paul Retter says Australia’s transport ministers asked the NTC to look at what level of regulation is needed to ensure adopt are safe now and into the future.

“Australian governments are starting to remove legislative barriers to more automated road vehicles,” Retter says.

“Without a safety assurance system, these vehicles could potentially be deployed with no government oversight or regulatory intervention.”

The ATA insists that, “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 the association’s strong opposition to regulation that threatens trucking businesses or impedes innovation.

The ATA submission argues that accreditation will be complex, costly and unnecessary for small trucking businesses.

It also argues that the accreditation option is not internationally consistent and will have a significant impact on vehicle ownership.

The ATA advocates, according to Weller, 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, Weller says.

The post ends with Weller saying that any legislative model must cater for the unique requirements of the Australian road user and be consistent across all states.

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