Austroads has published a report that considers the potential impacts on vehicle registration, driver licensing and compulsory third party (CTP) insurance arrangements that might arise from the introduction of automated vehicles (AVs) in Australia and New Zealand.
Increasing levels of automation are predicted to impact on current arrangements for registering motor vehicles, licensing drivers, and administering CTP insurance schemes. Understanding these impacts is important as we prepare to support the trialling and testing of AVs in the short term and mass‑market deployment in the longer term.
The key vehicle registration issues identified revolve around vehicle standards, compliance at market entry, compliance in-service and vehicle ownership. The key driver licensing issues revolve around driver training, driver testing and licensing. For CTP insurance, the critical issues concern the impact of AVs on no-fault and at-fault schemes, the impact of no driver being in the vehicle if a crash occurs, the impact of changing vehicle ownership models, the assignment of liability, and the impact on insurance premiums and determination of risk.
The report examines the rules and processes put in place by overseas and local jurisdictions to facilitate the testing and deployment of AVs on public roads, and assesses their relevance and suitability to Australia and New Zealand. It concludes that the registration and driver licensing processes examined were generally suitable for supporting trials and deployment of AVs but that some amendments would be required as we progress towards supporting market deployment.
CTP rules and processes adopted in other jurisdictions do not seem directly relevant and suitable for adoption here and in New Zealand.
This study complements three other studies currently underway in Australia:
- one on the safety benefits of automated vehicles, commissioned by Austroads
- another on the infrastructure requirements required to support and enhance the capabilities of automated vehicles, commissioned by Austroads
- a discussion paper, released by the National Transport Commission (NTC), on regulatory barriers to the introduction of automated road and rail vehicles.