Photo by Bram Van Oost on Unsplash
The department said that AVs will move on streets with little or no control by humans and added that this could solve a number of mobility issues for the country – including road safety, social inclusion, emissions and congestion.
“Government is putting in place policy, legislation and strategies to take advantage of the benefits associated with AVs, while also minimising risks and unpremeditated consequences. The new policy, legislation and strategies should provide a welcoming environment for testing and development of AV technology,” it said.
The department further said it must ensure it’s in a position to rapidly respond to the regulatory challenges posed by emerging technologies ‘to ensure their safety, affordability and accessibility’. To do this, it will look at strengthening its research capabilities, particularly with regard to safety research and innovation while maintaining close connections with the larger research community.
“The department’s desired outcome in this space is to ensure that South Africa, as part of the global world that is impacted by these technological advances, becomes more supportive of these beneficial technologies that will ultimately improve efficiencies in the transport space,” the department said.
Last month, US agencies launched probes into the fatal and fiery crash of a TeslaModel S in Houston that killed two people - with no one behind the wheel.