South Australia is the first state to embrace the autonomously-driven future, with new legislation aimed at recognising self-driving cars.
Following a trial by Swedish carmaker Volvo on (closed) public roads in Adelaide last year, SA has moved to ensure future trials can proceed with slightly less paperwork.
South Australia’s Transport and Infrastructure Minister, Stephen Mullighan, said companies looking to trial technologies on the state’s roads will simply have to “submit plans of the proposed trial and have sufficient insurances to protect the public”.
“These laws have received praise from companies at the forefront of this industry, which is estimated to be worth $90 billion dollars within 15 years,” Mr Mullighan said.
“For instance, Google referenced the legislation as a benchmark for other countries to follow due to its design and support of innovative technologies.”
Getting the road rules correct has long been viewed as a key road-block to the advancement of autonomous cars.
Drivers are (understandably) required to be in control of their vehicles at all times under current legislation in some states, and even laws such as those stating motorcycle riders must have two hands on the handlebars at all times have only recently been amended.
While the new laws may soon see Adelaide become Australia’s ‘self-driving capital’, Perth was previously identified by former General Motors executive Larry Burns as Australia’s most ideal city to trial autonomous cars.