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New ADR will see electric vehicles make more noise

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

An AVAS is a safety alert or sound, emitted when an electric vehicle is travelling at low speeds in car parks, intersections and driveways.

This is being introduced for greater pedestrian safety, as electric, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles typically run quieter, making them harder for pedestrians to hear compared to noisier vehicles with conventional petrol or diesel engines. 

“As more and more Australians choose to drive EVs we are committed to ensuring that they are safe for the both driver and others using the road,” said Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King.

“This is a significant win for the blind and low-vision community who have long been advocating for alert systems like this to be introduced in Australia.”

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill Shorten added, “It’s great that the blind and low vision communities’ concerns have been taken into account to create the Australian Design Rule meaning new electric vehicles will be fitted with an AVAS from November next year.

“This new Design Rule will ultimately improve road safety for everyone on our roads.”

 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.

AVAS technology is already mandated in the European Union, United Kingdom, Japan, Korea and the United States.

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.

“We are ecstatic and congratulate the current federal government for listening to our concerns and acting on this very important issue as pedestrians who are blind or have low vision will be able to navigate public spaces with more confidence,” said manager of government relations and advocacy for Vision Australia Chris Edwards.

“All pedestrians should have the right to feel safe and confident when navigating public spaces and today’s announcement is a significant step towards protecting that for people who are blind or have low vision. There is no doubt that this is an announcement that will save lives.”

The new ADR is expected to avoid around 68 fatalities, 2675 serious injuries and 2962 minor injuries by 2060. It is also estimated that it will save the Australian community $208 million.


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