Driverless vehicles could be a closer reality in Australia with the announcement that the Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources will inquire into the social issues relating to land–based driverless vehicles in Australia, including cars, trucks, buses and trains.
Committee Chair Michelle Landry MP says the inquiry will bridge an important knowledge gap in the growing body of research about this emerging technology.
“Our inquiry will focus on issues such as the social acceptance of the technology, how it might benefit Australians with limited mobility, and the potential social implications for driverless vehicles in the industrial and public transport sectors.”
— Dominic Beattie (@DominicBeattie) October 1, 2015
“Other investigations have started to address the technological aspects of driverless vehicles or possible regulatory approaches, and Australia is already at the forefront of using or trialling this new technology,” said Ms Landry.
“For example, there is currently a driverless shuttle bus on trial in Perth, millions of tonnes of iron ore are already being transported on driverless haulage trucks, and driverless trains are to be used on a new Sydney metro line.”
In late November the Queensland state government announced plans for the largest onroad testing trial in Australia.
Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey today announced Ipswich had been chosen as the site of the largescaletestbed to trial vehicles and infrastructure that can talk to one another as well as to test cooperative and highlyautomated vehicles on South East Queensland roads.
“To realise the potential benefits of these emerging technologies, we will undertake a trial over the next four years as part of the Cooperative and Automated Vehicle Initiative (CAVI),” Mr Bailey said.
“The Palaszczuk Government will recruit around 500 Ipswich motorists to take part who will have their vehicles retrofitted with cooperative intelligent transport systems (CITS) technology.
“These CITS devices work by providing safety warnings to the driver about a range of conditions – for example, a pedestrian crossing at a signalised intersection, a red light runner or a queue ahead that isn’t visible to a driver.”
— AUS Manufacturing (@AustralianM) November 29, 2016
The Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources has advised that it will be taking into account:
|Non-social aspects relating to driverless vehicles—such as regulatory status, infrastructure, technological readiness, data management and cyber security issues|
|The experience of other jurisdictions and nations|
|How Australia might best position itself to contribute to global driverless vehicle initiatives|
|The respective roles of the Australian government, the Australian Parliament, other jurisdictions and other stakeholders|
|How issues identified from this inquiry might inform work on other emerging technologies|
“This inquiry will take the next step with the Committee seeking to understand and encourage open discussion on some of the complex social issues that have yet to be tackled,” said Ms Landry.
The full Terms of Reference for the inquiry can be accessed here.