Automated Vehicles in Australia

Vehicle automation means that the tasks we associate with driving today, like accelerating, braking, turning or changing lanes, will be performed by a sophisticated vehicle computer system instead of a person.

Today, some new cars have automated features such as self-parking or lane-keep assist. These features assist with driving, but a licensed human driver is still in control of the car. Over the next 20 years, vehicles will become increasingly automated, and eventually a human will not need to drive a car at all.

Automated road vehicles could deliver benefits such as improved safety, more efficient and productive transport networks, more liveable city environments and better access to transport services for those unable to drive. Other technologies such as sharing data between vehicles and smart infrastructure will complement automation.

Further information about how Australia is preparing for automated vehicles is available from this factsheet PDF: 7775 KB ReadSpeaker

What work is already underway on Automated Vehicles?

Australian governments are working together to make sure automated vehicles can be legally and safely used when they are available for purchase in Australia.

This work will:

  • make sure the vehicles themselves can operate safely and legally on our road networks with other road users;
  • ensure the information and data produced by automated vehicles is not misused and people’s privacy is protected;
  • make sure automated vehicles cannot be ‘hacked into’ or systems tampered with;
  • make sure that when these cars are available they take into account the needs of all Australians;
  • consider the impacts of automated vehicles on our workforce and future skills needs;
  • consider what automated vehicles will mean for future driver licensing and road rules;
  • make sure our roads are ready and that road signs, traffic lights and road markings are compatible with connected and automated vehicles; and
  • look at consumer protections, including insurance and liability.

More detailed information on this topic is available by e-mailing automatedvehicles@infrastructure.gov.au.

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Last Updated: 18 May, 2017