NTC seeks feedback on automated vehicles safety assurance

Automated vehicles fail to exist under present legal framework says Retter

NTC seeks feedback on automated vehicles safety assurance
Paul Retter


Australia’s approach to a safety assurance system for automated vehicles (AVs) is the subject of a consultation regulation impact statement (RIS), which is now open for public consultation.

National Transport Commission (NTC) chief executive Paul Retter notes that the nation’s existing laws and regulations do not recognise automated vehicles.

The RIS seeks feedback on what role Australian governments will play in assuring the safety of automated driving systems, and what form a safety assurance system would take.

"We have produced the consultation RIS to gather feedback on the four safety assurance options identified: no change to existing laws, and three options with various choices of safety assurance systems – administrative, legislative, and legislative with a primary safety duty of care on the entity responsible for the automated driving system," Retter says.

This follows a request by transport ministers nationally for the NTC to assess the costs and benefits of a mandatory self-certification safety assurance system for automated vehicles.

"Self-certification by entities bringing automated driving systems to the Australian market was chosen as the preferred safety assurance approach of government and industry, following on from consultation by the NTC in 2017," the commission says.

The RIS has proposed 11 safety criteria that responsible entities would need to self-certify against, which include aspects of safety system design, compliance with road traffic laws, the ability for systems to be upgraded, mandated testing in Australia, and cyber security, amongst others.

"Governments around the world are grappling with regulatory frameworks for automated vehicles, and we aim to ensure Australia’s safety assurance systems are best practice," Retter says.

The NTC has distributed information on the RIS to automated vehicle manufacturers internationally as well as across all state and territory governments, the Commonwealth and local industry stakeholders.

Submissions deadline is July 9 via the NTC website.

Following consultation, the NTC will prepare a ‘Decision RIS’ for consideration by transport ministers in November.

The RIS document can be found here.


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