Automated vehicles

Australia wide there is work underway to ensure that automated vehicles (AVs) can operate easily and safely and be used across State boundaries.

Western Australia is actively involved in this work, to ensure the national recommendations are appropriate for our state. The Department of Transport (DoT) is working to make automated, connected and related vehicle technologies available in Western Australia, to ensure safety, improve liveability and increase productivity.

Have your say on automated vehicle reforms

The Australian Government with the National Transport Commission (NTC) are undertaking public consultation on automated vehicle reforms until mid-June 2024.

Your input is important to shape the future of transportation in Australia. For more information and to have your say visit the NTC website

Outcomes for the WA community:


  • Safe vehicles.
  • Safe roads.
  • Safe citizens.


  • More convenient, accessible transport.
  • Cleaner, people-focussed cities.


  • Industry growth, innovation and job creation.
  • Transport and freight efficiency.

Industry and public consultation on national regulatory framework for AVs

Between April and June 2024, the Australian Government and the NTC are leading public and industry consultation on the proposed regulatory framework and new policy areas for AVs. This builds on previous consultation undertaken by the NTC and the policy framework published in 2022.

Following this, work will continue developing nationally consistent policy positions for users of highly automated vehicles.

Consultation materials are hosted on the NTC website and submissions can made during the consultation period.

NTC website: industry and consultation
Media statement 23/04/2024: Call to help shape the future of automated vehicles in Australia

  Western Australia is working to prepare for automated vehicles

The Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communication and the Arts, the National Transport Commission (NTC) and state and territory governments have been working together to establish a nationally agreed regulatory framework for AVs. At the centre of this framework is the proposed Automated Vehicle Safety Law (AVSL) to manage the safe operation of AVs on public roads, administered by a new regulator.

Infrastructure and Transport Ministers have agreed that the AVSL will be a Commonwealth law. This law will mainly regulate Automated Driving System Entities (ADSE’s) which will be corporations that will take responsibility for the safety of AVs. State and territory governments will also need to make changes to State laws to enable the safe use of AVs.

Further information pertaining to AV research, projects and consultations can be found on the NTC website.

Austroads, the association of road authorities, is looking at the operational and road use questions for the introduction of AVs. For more information see the Future Vehicles and Technology page on the Austroads website.

Opens in a new window Austroads: Future Vehicles and Technology
National Transport Commission: Automated vehicle program

  Western Australia is trialling automated vehicles

Image of RAC Intellibus
Image of RAC Intellibus

State and local governments have worked closely with trial applicants to facilitate trials of automated vehicles on our roads. Two trials are ongoing, and there are likely to be further trials in the near future.

Currently, legislation in Western Australia does not allow vehicles without a driver in full control on our roads. However, for limited and controlled use we can grant a vehicle an exemption from certain vehicle standards requirements and/or conditions. Anybody intending to conduct a trial in WA will require a permit from the Department of Transport for each automated vehicle (AV) being trialled.

Image: RAC Intellibus.

  Conducting an Automated Vehicle Trial in Western Australia

Contact the DoT to discuss your proposal

The WA trial guidelines and associated process map (please see below) have been developed to assist applicants who are seeking to trial automated vehicle technology here. The guidelines are based upon the National Transport Commission Guidelines for trials of Automated Vehicle in Australia

The DoT will refer to the guidelines when assessing AV trial applications, with the following elements of a trial outlined in the document to assist organisations with developing their proposal:

  • AV trial planning;
  • Importation of the AV;
  • AV testing (off-road);
  • The AV trial application;
  • AV trial (on road); and
  • Trial Evaluation

Early engagement with DoT will provide an opportunity to understand how we can facilitate your proposal and for DoT to outline what steps would be required to obtain approval. For example, the nature and location of the proposed trial may necessitate consultation with stakeholders outside of DoT such as Local Government.

You can contact the Department of Transport when you are ready to progress your trial proposal or would like to discuss the trial process further.

Legislation that may be applicable

Additionally, you may need to consider other legislative provisions relating to occupational safety and health, consumer protection, and environmental issues, depending on the nature of the AV trial.

Opens in a new window Department of Justice: Road Traffic (Administration) Act 2008
Opens in a new window Department of Justice: Road Traffic (Administration) Regulations 2014
Opens in a new window Department of Justice: Road Traffic (Authorisation to Drive) Act 2008
Opens in a new window Department of Justice: Road Traffic (Authorisation to Drive) Regulations 2014
Department of Justice: Road Traffic (Blood Sampling and Analysis) Regulations 1975
Department of Justice: Road Traffic (Breath Analysis) Regulations 1975
Department of Justice: Road Traffic (Drug Driving) Regulations 2007
Department of Justice: Road Traffic (Omnibus) Regulations 1975
Department of Justice: Road Traffic (Urine Sampling and Analysis) Regulations 1983
Opens in a new window Department of Justice: Road Traffic (Vehicles) Act 2012
Opens in a new window Department of Justice: Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014
Opens in a new window Department of Justice: Road Traffic Code 2000
Page last updated: Wed Apr 24 2024 5:17:52 PM