Code of practice for autonomous vehicles

By on 16 June, 2021

Image courtesy WHOI/NSF

Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS) is consulting with industry with the aim of developing an Australian code of practice for autonomous and remotely operated vehicles.

The work covers airborne drones as well as surface and sub-surface watercraft, and particularly focuses on craft that operate autonomously.

According to Rachel Horne, TAS Assurance of Autonomy Lead and Director of Autonomy Accreditation–Maritime, “autonomous systems need to be trusted by the government, regulators, operators, and the broader community”.

“An integral part of gaining trust is having a clear, well-tailored regulatory framework, consistent assurance requirements and agreed assurance methodology, and support from the regulator. These same factors also facilitate innovation and promote growth in industry by providing certainty.”

To that end, the National Accreditation Support Facility Pathfinder (NASF-P) team has begun a series of projects to address these challenges.

One of the projects aims to address “the lack of tailored standards for autonomous and remotely operated vessels by developing an Australian Code of Practice for the Design, Construction, Survey and Operation of Autonomous and Remotely Operated Vessels”.

The project will start with a review of similar codes, such as the UK Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships UK Industry Conduct Principles and Code of Practice, and Lloyd’s Register Unmanned Marine Systems Code.

Input will be sought from key stakeholders such as the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems’ Maritime Working Group, the Marine Surveyors Association and the Australasian Institute of Marine Surveyors.

A draft is expected to ready by October 2021, which will be released for public consultation.

Interested parties can get involved by emailing NASFP@tasdcrc.com.au.

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