The National Transport Commission (NTC) released its "Safety Assurance for Automated Driving Systems Consultation Regulation Impact Statement" on 14 May 2018; it is open for public consultation until 9 July 2018.

The Statement focuses on how “Automated Driving Systems” (ADSs) can be regulated to ensure their safe deployment and to provide certainty to automated driving system entities (ADSEs). The Statement considers introducing ADS technology to the Australian market and recommends the adoption of a new or amended legislative framework for this purpose.

The approach preferred by the NTC is premised on mandatory self-certification by ADSEs in a regulatory regime that would include:

  • specific offences and compliance and enforcement options; and
  • the imposition of a primary safety duty on ADSEs (rather than on, for instance, manufacturers or human drivers/occupants).

As part of the self-certification system, the NTC has proposed a “Statement of Compliance” which would require, amongst other things:

  • safe design system and validation processes;
  • an outline as to how interaction between the ADS and people both inside and outside the vehicle will be safely facilitated;
  • a demonstration as to how ADSEs will ensure vehicles operate in compliance with relevant road traffic laws and how they will interact with enforcement and other emergency services;
  • evidence of "on-road behavioural competency", namely a demonstration of how the ADS will appropriately respond to both foreseeable and unusual conditions;
  • the ADSE to demonstrate that it has considered the Australian road environment in the design and development of the ADS; and
  • information as to how the risk of cyber intrusion has been minimised.