Skip to main content

Driverless vehicles

In an Australian first, laws allowing for the on-road trials of driverless vehicles are now in place in South Australia.

In June 2016, the South Australian Parliament enacted the Motor Vehicles (Trials of Automotive Technologies) Amendment Bill 2016.

This new legislation provides a framework to facilitate on-road trials, testing and development of driverless vehicles and other advanced automotive technology on South Australian roads.

South Australia is open for business and the South Australian Government actively encourages on-road trials, testing and development of driverless vehicles and advanced automotive technology in South Australia.

Future Mobility Lab

The South Australian Government has taken a strong leadership approach to position the state at the forefront of innovative transport technologies. The Future Mobility Lab has focused on projects that demonstrate, develop, or contribute to the applied research of Future Mobility technologies and provide real benefits to our communities. Building on the government’s introduction of legislation to allow on road trials of driverless cars, the Lab aims to stimulate developments in connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).We are eager to unlock and attract industry investment to South Australia and further promote our reputation as one of the most welcoming environments for testing connected and autonomous vehicle technologies. Keep up to date here.

Trials

Applications to hold an Automotive Technology trial in South Australia

Trials of advanced automotive and driverless vehicle technology are welcome and encouraged in South Australia. Trials are enabled under the Motor Vehicles Act, as amended by the Motor Vehicles (Trials of Automotive Technologies) Amendment Bill 2016.

Companies, universities and other groups considering applying to undertake a trial in South Australia are encouraged to make early contact with the Department of Infrastructure and Transport (DIT). DIT aim to work with trial applicants to ensure clear understanding of the trial assessment and approval process, time frames, and to support proposals for the importation of test vehicles or modification of production (ADR compliant) vehicles for testing advanced automotive technologies and driverless vehicle functionality.

Trial applicants planning to import test vehicles also need to be aware of Circular 0–4–8 Registration and use of evaluation vehicles which outlines the current requirement of the Commonwealth Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989. This Circular sets arrangements under which manufacturers and importers may register vehicle(s) for the purposes of evaluation. Trial applicants should note that vehicles temporarily imported under other arrangements, such as carnet de passage, cannot be used as evaluation vehicles.

Trial applicants should note that they will NOT be covered by the Compulsory Third Party Insurance Scheme administered by the Compulsory Third Party Regulator for the costs of the death of or bodily injury to third parties in the event of a trial vehicle collision with a third party’s vehicle or person. As such, appropriate public liability insurances must be held by the applicant.

Acknowledging that the protection of road users is paramount, trial applications should provide information responding to the Guidelines for Trials of Automated Vehicles in Australia, published jointly by the National Transport Commission and Austroads.

These guidelines provide nationally consistent criteria in the following areas:

  • Management of trials
  • Insurance (noting the above statement regarding no coverage under the Compulsory Third Party Insurance scheme in South Australia)
  • Safety Management Plan
  • Data and information

To ensure the safety of all road users, any exemptions from road safety related provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) will be comprehensively assessed. Applicants should also note that all trials are subject to state laws relating to driving without due care and dangerous driving.

DIT aims to work in collaboration with trial applicants to support the preparation trial application documentation.

For a trial to proceed it must receive an Authorisation from the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government. DIT will arrange for the Authorisation to be published on this website along with details of the trial. DIT will also arrange for publication of the Authorisation in the Government Gazette.

Please use the application form (DOCX, 625 KB) for Autonomous Vehicle Trial Exemption and Authorisation. All trial applications must be made considering and applying the Automated Vehicle Trials Safety Assurance Framework.

Guidance on risks is available from the risk register template   (XLSX, 18 KB) for autonomous vehicles trials.

Applications can be made by email to: DIT.Innovation@sa.gov.au

Trial assessment process

The Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) will need to prepare a report and recommendation to the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government in order for a trial to be authorised. DIT has established an advisory committee comprised of key DIT personnel, along with SAPOL and other members as needed.

It is preferred that anyone interested should first contact DIT to first discuss their proposal. This should ensure you are aware of any issues which you may otherwise not be. This should assist you in completing your application and make it easier to address any issues. Contact us on DIT.Innovation@sa.gov.au

The trial assessment process is intended to be flexible and will include consultation with stakeholders that will have a significant interest in proposed trials, such as local councils.

The trial assessment process is outlined below

  • Initial discussions with DIT
  • Application for trial, addressing the criteria in the Guidelines for Trials of Automated Vehicles in Australia, is received by DIT
  • Appropriate members of the DIT Advisory Committee will consult with trial applicant(s) to:
    • Better understand the trial scope and provide initial observations regarding information required from the applicant
    • provide initial feedback on possible conditions of authorisation
    • provide initial indication on support for requested exemptions from Acts, laws or standards
    • provide further information to all Advisory Committee members
  • DIT receives a final formal application from the trial applicant, including requested exemptions from Acts, laws or standards
  • The Advisory Committee will meet to consider final application and determine required scope of assessment. Risk and Insurance will always be included within the scope of assessment. If required, the Advisory Committee will meet for a formal presentation by, and/or joint workshop with, the trial applicant (e.g. safety/risk management).
  • The Advisory Committee will consider the trial application and supporting materials and prepare its advice and recommendations, including conditions of authorisation and exemptions from Acts, laws and standards.
  • The Minister considers the trial application and report with recommendations from DIT and makes a determination on authorising the trial.
  • If the trial is authorised, DIT arranges publication of the trial authorisation and exemptions in the Government Gazette, and publication of authorisation on website.
  • DIT provides letter to trial applicant advising of the authorisation of the trial and start date one month after website publication.

Notices

Details of approved trials.

Flinders Autonomous Vehicle Trial located at the Tonsley Innovation District to 30 June 2022. Flinders University will trial a Navya shuttle on a fixed route on public roads in the Tonsley Innovation District.  Motor Vehicles (Flinders Autonomous Vehicle Trial) Notice 2021, Government Gazette dated 4 February 2021, p311.


EasyMile Renmark Trial Phase 2 to conduct an on-road autonomous vehicle trial in Renmark on a route servicing the local community and tourism. Motor Vehicles (EasyMile Autonomous Vehicle Trial - Phase 2 at Renmark) Notice 2020, Government Gazette dated 5 November 17 2020, p5014.


EasyMile Renmark Trial Phase 1 to conduct an on-road autonomous vehicle trial in Renmark on a route servicing the local community. Motor Vehicles (EasyMile Autonomous Vehicle Trial - Phase 1 at Renmark) Notice 2020, Government Gazette dated 17 September 2020, p4646.


Cohda Wireless Autonomous Vehicle positioning trial phase within closed locations being Walkerville carpark and Adelaide Show Grounds utilising Cohda’s self-driving autonomous vehicles to test vehicle positioning and V2X technologies. Motor Vehicles (Cohda Wireless Autonomous Vehicle Positioning Trials) Notice 2020, Government Gazette dated 25 June 2020, p3644.


Aurrigo Autonomous Pod Trial located at the Tonsley Innovation District extended to 30 June 2020. The autonomous pod will provide  a transport service within the Tonsley Innovation Precinct.  Reference: Motor Vehicles (Aurrigo Autonomous Cargo Pod Trial) Notice 2019, Government Gazette dated 4 July 2019, p2601.


EasyMile Renmark Trial Phase 1 to conduct an on-road autonomous vehicle trial in Renmark on a route servicing the local community. Motor Vehicles (EasyMile Autonomous Vehicle Trial - Phase 1 at Renmark) Notice 2019, Government Gazette dated 20 June 2019, p2171.


EasyMile Playford Connect Trial Phase 2 to conduct an on-road autonomous vehicle trial in the City of Playford providing a first mile last mile service from the Munno Para Train Station. Motor Vehicles (EasyMile Autonomous Vehicle Trial - Phase 2 at Munno Para) Notice 2019, Government Gazette dated 23 May 2019, p1312.


Aurrigo Autonomous Pod Trial located at the Elliot Gardens Retirement Village, Port Elliot from 7 March to30 June 2019. The autonomous pod will provide a transport service within the Retirement Village.  Motor Vehicles (Aurrigo Autonomous Vehicle - Port Elliot Trial) Notice 2019, Government Gazette dated 7 March 2019, p789.


Local Motors Autonomous Vehicle Glenelg Trial to test interoperability of an autonomous shuttle with a smart bus stop between Mosley Square and Broadway Kiosk. Motor Vehicles (Local Motors Autonomous Vehicle Glenelg Trial) Notice 2018, Government Gazette ​dated 1 November 2018, p3915.​


Autonomous vehicles  demonstration trials for the 3rd International Driverless Vehicles Summit from 31st October to 2nd November 2018. Refer Motor Vehicles (ADVI IDVS3 Summit Trial) Notice 2018, Government Gazette ​dated 1 November 2018, p3912.​


Local Motors Autonomous Vehicle Tonsley Trial to test interoperability of an autonomous shuttle with a smart bus stop on roads open to the public in the Tonsley Innovation District.  Motor Vehicles (Local Motors Autonomous Vehicle Tonsley Trial) Notice 2018, Government Gazette ​dated 4 October 2018, p3685.​


EasyMile Playford Connect Trial Phase 1 to conduct an on-road autonomous vehicle trial in the City of Playford between the old GM carpark and the Lyell McEwin hospital.  Motor Vehicles (EasyMile Playford Connect Trial – Phase 1) Notice 2018, Government Gazette dated 13 September 2018, p3472.


Cohda Wireless Autonomous Vehicle positioning trial phase within closed locations being Walkerville carpark and Adelaide Show Grounds utilising Cohda’s self-driving autonomous vehicles to test vehicle positioning and V2X technologies. Motor Vehicles (Cohda Wireless Autonomous Vehicle Positioning Trials) Notice 2018, Government Gazette dated 16 August 2018, p3103.


Flinders Autonomous Shuttle Trial located at the Tonsley Innovation District to 30 June 2020. Flinders University will trial a Navya shuttle on a fixed route on public roads in the Tonsley Innovation District connecting passengers to the train station providing a first/last mile transit solution.  Motor Vehicles (Flinders Autonomous Shuttle Trial) Notice No 27, Government Gazette dated 19 April 2018, p1337.


Aurrigo autonomous cargo pod trial located at the Tonsley Innovation Precinct from 7 February 2018 to 30 June 2019. The autonomous pod will trial performing deliveries of light freight within the Tonsley Innovation Precinct.  The autonomous pod will also be used to transport small numbers of passengers in this area.  Motor Vehicles (Aurrigo Autonomous Cargo Pod Trial) Notice 2018, Government Gazette dated 6 February 2018, p605.


Driverless Shuttle demonstration trial located at West Lakes on 18 November 2017.  Motor Vehicles (ARRB Autonomous Vehicles Trial) Notice 2017 No 2, Government Gazette dated 14 November 2017, p4569.


Driverless Shuttle demonstration trials for the 2nd International Driverless Vehicles Summit on 16 - 17 November 2017, located in the Riverbank Precinct, North Adelaide.  Motor Vehicles (ARRB Autonomous Vehicles Trial) Notice 2017 No 1, Government Gazette dated 7 November 2017, p4508.


News

Cohda Connected Autonomous Vehicle Trials

Cohda Connected Autonomous Vehicle Trials

Cohda Wireless, a global leader in autonomous V2X technology, received two grants totalling up to $2 million from the Future Mobility Lab Fund to conduct on-road trial projects on the streets of Adelaide to test how vehicles communicate to one another and with roadside infrastructure, as well as expanding the Cohda’s work in ‘Vehicle to Everything’ communications (V2X).

Read More

Flinders Autonomous Shuttle Trial

Flinders Autonomous Shuttle Trial

Flinders University will receive up to $1 million of Future Mobility Lab Funds for a five-year, three stage, $4 million driverless last mile shuttle project - for which Flinders University and the RAA have partnered with industry supporters Cohda Wireless, Renewal SA, SAGE Automation, SIEMENS, Telstra, UPG, ZEN Energy and public transport operator Keolis Downer.

Read More

Future Mobility Presentation

Future Mobility Presentation

The technology has moved forward and with it has the many trials presented and completed around South Australia.

Read More

Easy Mile Driverless Vehicle Trial

Easy Mile Driverless Vehicle Trial

The driverless vehicle trials continue across South Australia, now in the northern suburb of Munno Para.

Read More

Contact the Driverless Vehicles Team

DPTI.Innovation@sa.gov.au

* required fields

*

*

*