NTC consulting on safety regime for driverless cars


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 13 June, 2017


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The National Transport Commission (NTC) is holding a consultation on the development of a national safety regime for autonomous vehicles.

The statutory body is inviting government departments, vehicle manufacturers, transport technology providers and other stakeholders to consider four regulatory options for such a system.

A discussion paper release by the commission lays out the option of continuing the current approach to regulating vehicle standards in Australia, introducing a self-certification system, a pre-market approval regime or an accreditation regime.

The options aim to strike a balance between government oversight and industry self-regulation, and Australia’s transport ministers have tasked the NTC with evaluating what level of regulation is required to ensure automated driving technologies remain safe.

“Australian governments are starting to remove legislative barriers to more automated road vehicles. Without a safety assurance system, these vehicles could potentially be deployed with no government oversight or regulatory intervention,” NTC Chief Executive Paul Retter said.

“These technologies are highly innovative, technically advanced and varied, and we don’t yet know if they will be safe. We need a mechanism that supports innovation without unnecessary red tape, but also assures the Australian public that automated vehicles are safe.”

He said Australia’s regulatory system must be able to accommodate the inevitable shift in the risks associated with driving away from human drivers and towards automated driving systems.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Aleksei Demitsev

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