The recent Motor Accident Injury Insurance and Automated Vehicles Discussion Paper released in October 2018 by the National Transport Commission (‘NTC’) examines the current state of motor accident injury insurance in Australia and how this may be affected by vehicles with automated driving systems. The Discussion paper calls for feedback which will be considered in preparation for the Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting scheduled for May 2019.
The NTC self identifies as ‘an independent statutory body that contributes to the achievement of national transport policy objectives by developing regulatory and operational reform of road, rail and intermodal transport’. The NTC advises parliament on policy and guidelines for the development of Australia’s mass transport systems moving forward.
According to the NTC the Discussion Paper ‘identifies elements within existing motor accident injury insurance schemes that may act as barriers to accessing compensation for personal injuries or death caused by an automated driving system. The paper discusses how these schemes, or alternative insurance models, could provide cover for injuries and deaths involving an automated vehicle’.
In the analysis of the current motor accident injury insurance schemes the NTC Discussion Paper relied heavily on a paper published in the Torts Law Journal in 2017, and a 2016 submission made to the NTC, both of which Adelaide Law School Lecturer, Mark Brady was the lead Author. The NTC directly quotes, or references, these works throughout the Discussion Paper. These documents make up the leading two academic sources for the Discussion Paper.
The traction gained by this research at a regional, state and national level is both timely and the result of a lot of hard work which is ongoing in the developing field of automated vehicles and law.