Speedy Autonomous Vehicles Legislation Welcomed

10 February 2016


Canberra Business Chamber congratulates Alistair Coe for moving swiftly to establish the ACT as a leading jurisdiction in the autonomous vehicles field.

Mr Coe tabled a bill in the Legislative Assembly this morning to allow the trial of autonomous vehicles (AV) in the ACT.

Canberra Business Chamber believes the ACT is well placed to be a principal location for trials of autonomous vehicles and recently brought together key stakeholders to begin looking at how the Territory could move into this space.

The Chamber would like to see the regulatory framework in Canberra attract commercial interest and enable an autonomous vehicle ‘social application’ trial to commence this year.

“Canberra is in the perfect position to take full advantage of our first class road amenity to be a leader in the Asia Pacific region for the applied social use of AV,” Canberra Business Chamber Chair, Glenn Keys said.

“Having globally successful organisations like Seeing Machines headquartered here and a research capacity second to none, the ACT provides an eco-system conducive to industry establishment and growth in this area.  We are also highly skilled in the area of research and evaluation and could support such a trial.”

“Canberra Business Chamber welcomes the Coe Bill as a major step in the right direction, and believes the legislation could go further.  What this legislation will provide is a reasonable basis from which to do something quickly when opportunities arise.”

The Chamber is encouraging the Assembly to examine possible amendments to enhance the bill even further. The Chamber would support further review of the bill by private sector industry leaders in the AV sector to ensure the final result is conducive to the future generation of AV use.

“Canberra must have the appropriate regulation in place this year with a trial underway before the end of the year if we are to capitalise on this opportunity, which potentially has huge social benefits in an aging population, could be a revolution in road safety and offers enormous benefits for social inclusion, particularly for the disability sector,” Mr Keys argued.

“This initiative, if handled well, will also significantly contribute to the continued diversification of the CBR Region economy.

“We call on all political parties in the ACT to work together to achieve this aim as it is an important opportunity for the community, business and Canberra as a whole.”

The Chamber has formed a steering group to consider and inform the next steps leading up to the commencement of a trial and will also work with legislators to ensure the legislative framework for the ACT is appropriate.


Media Contact: Robyn Hendry, CEO Canberra Business Chamber 0418 462 151