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Government moves to manage automated vehicles

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The Commonwealth Government has spent has spent $9.7 million to establish an Office of Future Transport Technologies to manage the impending influx of automated vehicles.

Automated vehicle technology is expected to commercially available in Australia within two years.

The new office, which has been established within the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, will help improve co-ordination with state governments and agencies. It is intended to ensure that regulatory settings are in line with related Commonwealth policies and laws, including those related to privacy and data use.

The National Transport Commission (NTC) is studying options for a safety assurance system covering automated vehicles, including the necessity for recorded data to be provided to insurers. This will help clarify insurance claims.

The NTC is also investigating how motor vehicle third-party injury insurance schemes will be affected by automated vehicles.

Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack says the development and adoption of the technology will be managed with a focus on improving transport and road safety outcomes.

The technologies have the potential to reduce the $27 billion annual cost of road crashes in Australia, Mr McCormack says.