Making Some Noise For Safer Vehicles

Dept of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

Pedestrians will soon be safer around quiet cars, trucks and buses travelling at low speeds with the Albanese Government introducing a new design rule to make electric vehicles safer.

The Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS) is a safety alert or sound, emitted when an electric vehicle is travelling at low speeds in car parks, intersections, and driveways.

Quiet vehicles such as electric, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles travelling at low speeds are harder for pedestrians to hear compared to noisier vehicles with conventional petrol or diesel engines.

This increases the risk of being involved in a collision, and this risk is greater for people who are blind or have poor vision who rely on sound to negotiate the road network independently.

The new Australian Design Rule (ADR) will require new electric, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell cars, trucks and buses to be fitted with an AVAS from November 2025.

AVAS will make these vehicles easier to hear by emitting a sound when the vehicle is travelling at low speeds in car parks, intersections and driveways.

A vehicle fitted with an AVAS will not be any noisier than a conventional petrol or diesel vehicle.

The Government consulted on a draft Impact Analysis proposing a mandate for AVAS for light vehicles and it was strongly supported by state and territory governments, the blind and low-vision community, and vehicle manufacturers.

The new ADR is expected to avoid around 68 fatalities, 2,675 serious injuries and 2,962 minor injuries by 2060 and is estimated it will save the Australian community $208 million.

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