DOT ISSUES FEDERAL POLICY FOR TESTING AND USING AUTOMATED VEHICLES
In an attempt to regulate the growing technology of “automated” or “autonomous” vehicles, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a four-part policy for the safe testing and deployment of these vehicles, including heavy duty and other commercial vehicles, laying the “foundation for the next revolution in roadway safety.”
With the technology already in use in some parts of the country, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says the policy “is an unprecedented step by the federal government to harness the benefits of transformative technology by providing a framework for how to do it safely.”
With 94% of crashes on U.S. roadways caused by a human choice or error, DOT sees the automated vehicles as having the potential to save thousands of lives.
The four parts of the Federal Automated Vehicles Policy include:
- 15-point assessment that focuses on a vehicle’s safe design
- Identifying the clear distinctions between Federal and State responsibilities for regulation
- Outlining NHTSA’s current regulatory tools to ensure safe development of new technologies
- Modernizing the approaches to regulations to aid in the safe, efficient deployment of new lifesaving technologies.
Automakers will be required to sign and submit assessments to certify their vehicles are safe and the regulations will be updated annually to keep up with any technological and safety improvements.
Experts say this technology is rapidly developing and will change the driving experience dramatically, comparable to the rapid advances made by cell phone technology.