WIT Press

Designing national guidelines for automated vehicle trials in Australia


Free (open access)


Volume 2 (2018), Issue 2



Page Range

176 - 188

Paper DOI



WIT Press




The project brief was simple: create future proof guidelines for a form of transport that has rarely been seen and technology capabilities that have only recently been imagined while ensuring safety and ease of use for government and industry. Automated vehicles are predicted to revolutionize mobility in a way that we have not seen for over a hundred years. Increased safety on the road, improved efficiency and beneficial environmental impacts are all presented as potential benefits of more automated vehicles. However, to achieve these outcomes the technology must be trialled and tested in many different environments. In Australia, establishing that the technology can perform is crucial to both the public as users and to governments, who aim to ensure public safety. For example, it is necessary to confirm that the red dust in Central Australia doesn’t inhibit cameras and that movement projection algorithms can accurately predict the course of a kangaroo. Additionally, any guidance must work within the existing transport regulatory framework. The federated states and territories of Australia manage operational aspects of road transport regulation, while the Commonwealth Government manages standards for imported vehicles or those manufactured in Australia. This article describes the policy context in which the National Transport Commission worked with the state, territory and federal governments as well as industry stakeholders to design a flexible but robust set of guidelines that both encourages trials in Australia and ensures the safety of other road users.


Australia, automated vehicles, data, insurance, intelligent transport systems, transport, trials