Regulating Future Driving: Automated Vehicles and the Harmonisation of Australian Laws

Abstract

Harmonisation of Australian laws to ensure national consistency will be an important aspect of the introduction of automated vehicles in Australia. This paper analyses the current Australian regulatory landscape and considers the opportunities for harmonisation of Australian law and policy. It begins in Part II with an overview of automated vehicles. Part III considers the harmonisation of Australian transport regulation in relation to automated vehicles. Part IV of the paper analyses four key areas for the introduction of automated vehicles: vehicle operator licensing; application of existing road rules to automated vehicles; the proposal for a national in-service safety regulator; and compulsory third-party insurance. Each of these areas is analysed in terms of the challenges they pose, as well as the opportunities for harmonisation. We argue that the introduction of automated vehicles represents a unique, historic opportunity to modernise and harmonise Australia’s road transport laws.</p

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