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This research paper examines issues related to automated vehicles, including regulation of, and legislation addressing, the testing of automated vehicles in Australia, as well as the likely economic impacts of introducing these vehicles and existing schemes in overseas jurisdictions. It also presents the potential benefits and obstacles related to the development and deployment of automated vehicles and discuss key issues that will face policy makers in Australia.

While automakers are committed to producing a driverless car, many experts agree that the development of a truly autonomous vehicle is unlikely (or is at least decades away). However, vehicles which can operate at high levels of automation and which will not require a driver for long periods of time are possible and imminent. Further, automakers predict that such vehicles will be brought to market by 2020. It is therefore vital that policy makers understand the implications of this emerging technology.

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