The National Transport Commission released Regulatory options for automated vehicles – a discussion paper that finds a number of barriers to increasing vehicle automation.
I wonder if the NTC have considered my submission to the debate back in November 2015? What could possibly go wrong?
New edit 25-05-16…
…and now this
The NTC is an inter-governmental agency charged with improving the productivity, safety and environmental performance of Australia’s road, rail and intermodal transport systems. As an independent statutory body, the NTC develops and submits reform recommendations for approval to the Transport and Infrastructure Council, which comprises Commonwealth, state and territory transport, infrastructure and planning ministers.
The paper proposes that there are barriers that need to be addressed as soon as possible to ensure clarity around the status of more automated vehicles on Australia’s roads and to support further trials. In the longer term other legislative barriers will need to be addressed to allow fully driverless vehicles in the future.
Australia’s laws need to be ready for the biggest change to our transport system since cars replaced horses.
Some of the questions that will need to be resolved include:
- How can governments enable on-road trials of automated vehicles nationally?
- How can governments help clarify who is controlling a vehicle when the human driver is not driving? Or when control can alternate between a human and an automated driving system?
- How should the requirement that a driver must have proper control of a vehicle be interpreted by police when there is no human driver?
What should happen to the range of laws that put obligations on a human driver of a vehicle such as:
- Rendering assistance after a crash
- Complying with directions from police
- Paying any tolls or fines incurred.
It is also not clear whether people injured in a crash with an automated vehicle will always be able to claim insurance under compulsory third party insurance or state-based accident compensation schemes.
The discussion paper builds upon the issues paper released by the NTC on Thursday, 4 February 2016 and the 32 submissions made by stakeholders.
Of course, this is simply the tip-of-the-iceberg when it comes to regulatory and broader policy positioning.
As I have stated in a piece on my personal site – The Next Generation? it is instructive to consider just how rapidly and wide-ranging these ‘innovations’ and ‘opportunities’ have [and will] become in public planning.
Reforms and dislocations being witnessed in “modern” labour markets are perhaps the first symptoms of genuinely profound changes to what we understand work to be in the second half of this century. The implications of automation, “job-less growth” and widening skills and income inequality suggest profound changes in policy responses will be needed.