Law & the ‘Diverse Mobility Revolution’

Tania Leiman, Tim Wheaton, Wesley Heron

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Access to transport and mobility has enormous impact on Australian society. Heavy freight vehicles transport goods across large distances between population centres, agricultural and mining hubs and ports. Light commercial vehicle use underpins our economy, enabling industry, trade, health care, emergency services and law enforcement. Mass public transport, taxis, ride sharing, and private vehicle use enables our population to be mobile, undertake employment, trade, and access health, education and other government services. Our transport infrastructure acts as the arteries connecting our communities, cities, regional, rural and remote centres. Technological advances, population shifts, resource sustainability and climate change imperatives now urge us to rethink our transport system. We need ‘options that maximise mobility in... cost, time, network impacts, productivity, social (equity and health) outcomes and environmental outcomes’. New transport technologies now include co-operative intelligent transport systems [C-ITS], automated vehicles (terrestrial and aerial), electric vehicles and personal mobility devices (bicycles and automated walking machines), vehicle platooning, and hyperloops. This ‘diverse mobility revolution’ presents interesting regulatory challenges in Australia’s federated system. Existing regulation of this interconnected transport ecosystem occurs at national, state and local levels, and given that Australia no longer hosts any auto-manufacturing, it must also take into account international frameworks. Legal issues arise at every stage across the mobility lifecycle as governments and industry seek to introduce these new technologies, including assuring design standards, interoperability, ensuring safety, data security & privacy, and managing liability and risk. Existing regulatory frameworks based on traditional transport taxonomies do not neatly align with new transport modalities. Traditional legal approaches to managing liability and risk, particularly those that embed notions of intent, reasonableness, autonomy or social utility, struggle to respond effectively to the challenges of this new environment. This paper will explore some of these challenges in the context of the diverse mobility revolution, and consider how Australia could and should respond.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventDigital Citizens Conference New technologies: Rights, Responsibilities and Regulation -
Duration: 24 Jul 2019 → …


ConferenceDigital Citizens Conference New technologies: Rights, Responsibilities and Regulation
Period24/07/19 → …


Dive into the research topics of 'Law & the ‘Diverse Mobility Revolution’'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this