Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2016) . . Page.. 105 ..
… Australia needs to create an open and connected environment. Such a setting should welcome and accommodate innovative self-driving cars and other forms of advanced transport.”
This legislation is the start of the journey. I know that there will be some who are cautious or even sceptical about this technology. However, I believe this can be overcome. There are, of course, insurance, privacy, technological and safety issues which need to be considered.
The bill I have presented allows for the testing of autonomous vehicles in the ACT. The bill permits the minister to approve, or refuse to approve, an autonomous vehicle trial. To approve a trial the minister must be satisfied that the applicant is able to comply with the following conditions: (1), the operator of the vehicle must hold a current drivers licence; (2), the operator of the vehicle is in the driver’s seat at all times; (3), the vehicle has an easily accessible mechanism to engage and disengage the autonomous system; (4), the vehicle has a visual indicator inside the vehicle to indicate when the autonomous system is engaged and disengaged; (5), the vehicle has a failure alert system which tells the operator when a failure is detected and allows the operator to take immediate control of the vehicle, and if the operator cannot take immediate control of the vehicle the failure system must stop the vehicle; (6), the vehicle is able to capture and store data.
Offences created in this legislation include the following: to participate in autonomous vehicle trials without approval; if a condition of approval is contravened; if a person hinders an approved trial or interferes with equipment; and if a person fails to keep or supply data.
The minister must also take all necessary steps to prevent confidential information—that is, system development, trade secrets et cetera—being released. The trial is to be reviewed two years after the legislation is passed.
The legislation will allow for autonomous vehicles on certain roads at certain times and for certain operators. It is a first step. A further legislative step would be to allow for autonomous vehicles on particular roads or lanes for the transportation of passengers.
Madam Speaker, this legislation will help pave the way for the future. Some may even say that the legislation does not go far enough. If it is indeed the will of this place, we will happily look at progressing this legislation even further. The Canberra Liberals are pleased to bring forward legislation to allow for the future of transport in Canberra, which we want to arrive in Canberra now. I urge members to support the bill.
Debate (on motion by Mr Rattenbury) adjourned to the next sitting.
MR COE (Ginninderra) (10.11): I move:
That this Assembly: