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Further comments on regulatory options for autonomous vehicles

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07 July 2016

Further comments have been sent from the ATA to the NTC concerning regulatory options for automated vehicles.

The initial submission is also available.

In the additional comments, the ATA outlined four additional crucial areas for consideration. These are:

  • Managing interactions with people and non-autonomous vehicles
  • Managing maintenance requirements and vehicle standards
  • Managing loss of driving skills and user alertness
  • No-blame investigations into autonomous vehicle accidents

An emphasis has been placed on the point concerning no-blame investigations. Because of the complexity of possible autonomous vehicle accidents, traditional coronial investigations into fatal crashes will be inadequate.

No-blame investigations, such as those carried out by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau into air, marine and some rail crashes, would be a far more suitable for determining how an autonomous vehicle crash occurred, and how to prevent it occurring again in the future. Assigning blame to a specific party will become increasingly difficult, and all parties should have the incentive to work together to pinpoint ways to improve the safety of these vehicles.