In November 2016, Australian transport ministers agreed to a phased reform program so that conditionally automated vehicles can operate safely and legally on our roads before 2020, and highly and fully automated vehicles from 2020.
Testing infrastructure and procedure description
Approvals under Regulation 11 or Regulation 18 of the Motor Vehicle Standards Regulations 1989 are not intended to be for the large-scale commercial deployment of automated vehicles into the Australian market and so the number of vehicles of any make and model should be restricted to a minimum number necessary for the evaluation/research program.
First of all, the potential applicant will need to decide whether the applicant is eligible to apply under the Test and Evaluation Vehicles option using Regulation 18; or the Discretionary Approval option using Regulation 11.
For the Discretionary Approval option, it is necessary to follow the Special Purpose Vehicle option for the first part of the process. The 8 steps to import a vehicle page will give you additional information on fees and other government agencies that you may need to deal with regarding duties, taxes and other requirements.
In addition to the documents normally required when you commence an import application, you are advised to provide a letter of support from the road transport agency where you intend to deploy the vehicle for use in trials. You are also requested to provide the information below (which may be drawn from the information provided to the road transport agency in seeking the letter of support).
This information is needed in order to fully identify each vehicle involved and the level of compliance with the ADRs. Where exemptions to ADRs are being sought it is also needed to establish the intended use and so the risk to participants and other road users.
It is expected that a typical trial would involve no more than 1–3 vehicles of a type, although the number of vehicles required to trial a particular use case may necessitate a larger number (such as trials for compatibility with infrastructure and/or the impact on transport systems and passenger services). It is also expected that at least part of the research gathered will ultimately be used towards certifying a vehicle that fully complies with Australia’s national vehicle standards, the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) applicable to the relevant category of vehicle.
Organisation(s) in charge
- Australian Government. Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development
- NTC (National Transport Commission). https://www.ntc.gov.au/about-ntc/
- Commonwealth – Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
- Western Australia – Department of Transport
- South Australia – Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure / Government of South Australia
- Northern Territory – Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, Registrar of Motor Vehicles
- Queensland – Department of Transport and Main Roads
- New South Wales – Smart Innovation Centre, Transport for NSW
- Australian Capital Territory – Transport Canberra and City Services
- Tasmania – Department of State Growth
- Victoria – VicRoads
Link to procedure website
Link to documents
- Automated vehicle trial guidelines (May 2017): Develop national guidelines governing conditions for trials of automated vehicles.
- Clarifying control of automated vehicles (Nov 2017): Develop national enforcement guidelines that clarify regulatory concepts of control and proper control for different levels of driving automation.
- Safety assurance system for automated vehicles (Nov 2018): Design and develop a safety assurance regime for automated road vehicles.
- Changing driving laws to support automated vehicles (May 2018): Develop legislative reform options to clarify the application of current driver and driving laws to automated vehicles, and to establish legal obligations for automated driving system (ADS) entities.
- Motor accident injury insurance and automated vehicles (August 2019): Support jurisdictions in reviewing injury insurance schemes to identify any eligibility barriers for occupants of an automated vehicle, or those involved in a crash with an automated vehicle.
- Regulating government access to C-ITS and automated vehicle data (August 2019): Develop options to manage government access to C-ITS and automated vehicle data that balances road safety and network efficiency outcomes and efficient enforcement of traffic laws with sufficient privacy protections for automated vehicle users.
- In-service safety for automated vehicles (May 2020): Develop options to assure the safe operation of automated vehicles while they are in-service.
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