Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

People with Disability and Connected and Automated Vehicles

The Department partnered with LaTrobe University and the iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre on a project to investigate how Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) being deployed in the Australian market will be regulated under the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (Transport Standards) and how they will be accessible to people with disability. The report identifies barriers and opportunities for people with disability accessing CAVs as public transport, a framework for requirements to ensure whole journey accessibility for people with disability, and recommendations for the Australian Government.

The full report and accompanying documents are now available to download in PDF and accessible word formats:

  • Australia’s Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport and Connected and Automated Vehicles – Main Report DOCX: 909 KB PDF: 3768 KB
  • Connected and Automated Vehicles: Barriers and Opportunities for people with disability. DOCX: 57 KB PDF: 8758 KB
  • Australia’s Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport and Connected and Automated Vehicles - Stakeholder engagement Report DOCX: 1123 KB PDF: 3112 KB

Barriers and opportunities

Emerging transport technologies – such as CAVs – have the potential to alleviate hurdles but may also introduce new challenges for people with disability. The report identifies four areas that require guidelines or standards, and barriers and opportunities for each area that CAVs would need to meet to ensure whole journey accessibility.

These four areas and associated barriers and opportunities are:

  1. Vehicle design – seating availability, wheelchairs, handles and support, controls, colours, seating design and signage.
  2. Monitoring and Direct Assistance – identification of passengers, safety monitoring, conflict resolutions, stewards, platform assistance, emergency management plans, emergency communications, emergency training and consistent responses, emergency phones and customer service.
  3. Human Machine Interface – touch screens, communication of trip progress, announcements, planning, hailing, paying and booking, identification of the correct vehicle and boarding locations, payment, no reliance on smart phones, privacy and reducing stress and anxiety.
  4. Operations – Easy entry and exit practices, service customisation, safe departure and arrival, safe vehicle movements, and easy transfer.

For more information about barriers and opportunities, download this document:

  • Connected and Automated Vehicles: Barriers and Opportunities for people with disability DOCX: 57 KB PDF: 8758 KB.

Recommendations

The report makes a number of recommendations for government. These recommendations aim to ensure CAVs are able to function fully automatically for everyone, industry agrees with the standards and accessibility solutions are implemented. These recommendations include non-regulatory approaches, regulatory changes and other regulatory considerations.

The non-regulatory recommendations are:

  1. Establish a national or international collaboration platform to coordinate change between industry and disability groups.
  2. Develop CAV guidelines. These guidelines should allow communities, industry and government to comprehensively consider CAVs from the perspective of people with disability.

The regulatory recommendations are:

  1. Include CAVs in the Transport Standards by creating a class of driverless conveyances.
  2. Update the definition of public transport to represent modern public transport.
  3. Include standards for digital public transport infrastructure in the Transport Standards.

Other regulatory considerations were:

  1. Review regulatory frameworks and their effectiveness in other countries.
  2. Co-regulate with industry to ensure successful development and implementation of accessible CAVs.
  3. Certify and legally audit the Transport Standards.
  4. Enable legal enforcement of the Transport Standards by empowering agencies to enforce compliance.

To view the full recommendations, download the main report:

  • Australia’s Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport and Connected and Automated Vehicles – Main Report DOCX: 909 KB PDF: 3768 KB

Background

The project was established with the following objectives:

  • Examine if and how CAV modes and services can be incorporated into the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (Disability Transport Standards) to deliver access to our cities and regions for people with disability.
  • Clarify the extent to which the current Disability Transport Standards can integrate CAV and associated technologies.
  • Assess the requirements that people with disability will have with these emerging technologies and inform the defining of a framework.
  • Recommend amendments that can be implemented through the current reform process to the Disability Transport Standards.

More information about the project is available on the iMOVE website.

LaTrobe University engaged with the members of the disability community and with industry to develop the report. An appendix with detailed information on these consultations is available here:

  • Australia’s Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport and Connected and Automated Vehicles - Stakeholder engagement Report DOCX: 1123 KB PDF: 3112 KB