Legislation has passed the Victorian Parliament this week that allows driverless vehicles to be trialled across the state.
Under the changes to the Road Safety Act, VicRoads will be able to grant permits to individuals or organisations wanting to conduct on road trials of automated vehicles.
The government believes this legislation will encourage national and international industry leaders to develop this emerging technology in Victoria, which will mean more jobs and opportunities for Victorians.
Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan has also announced a $9 million grant program for researchers and industry, as part of the Towards Zero Road Strategy and Action Plan.
These grants will support the development of vehicles with connected and automated technology and safety features.
“Victoria is at the forefront of autonomous vehicle technology and these changes will allow our best and brightest to continue to drive transport innovation, Mr Donellan said.
“Automated vehicles will be a game-changer for Victorian roads – initially reducing and ultimately eliminating human driver error.”
Under the new laws, all driverless vehicle trials will require a human supervisor to monitor the vehicle from either inside or outside the vehicle.
Once it has been established a vehicle can drive safely, this condition may be removed to allow the vehicle to drive in automated mode in limited circumstances without a supervisor.
VicRoads acting deputy chief executive Robyn Seymour said: “We’re excited to support trials of automated vehicles, which will revolutionise the way we travel and move around our communities.”