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USDOT Requests Public Input on Autonomous Vehicle Guidelines

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by Aaron Mack in Uncategorized
January 18, 2018

The United States Department of Transportation this month published numerous requests for public input surrounding the autonomous vehicle (AV) regulatory environment, in an apparent effort to identify unnecessary hurdles and roadblocks to advancement within the sector.

The Department has continually re-affirmed its position that AV deployment will generate nationwide benefits including enhanced traffic safety, and that the testing and deployment of related technologies should not be inhibited by gratuitous government interference at either the federal or state level.

“Policy makers need to preserve the creativity and innovation that is part of the American tradition and allow innovation to flourish,” Department Secretary Elaine L. Chao stated from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Chao also revealed that the Department continues to progress toward the release of the third iteration of the Federal autonomous vehicle policy—known as “A Vision for Safety 3.0.” Version 2.0 of the same policy—Automated Driving Systems 2.0: A Vision for Safety—was released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last September. That document was notable for its relaxation of federal automated vehicle regulations set forth under the Obama administration. The document explicitly discouraged the passage of legislation that might impede, overburden or overregulate AV development and testing by private industry.

A Vision for Safety 3.0 is slated for release this summer. Chao said the updated framework will emphasize an “intermodal approach” to automated driving systems policy to enable the safe integration of surface transportation systems, including cars, trucks, light rail, infrastructure and port operations.

The Department’s requests for public comment were posted on its public website and in the Federal Register. The Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration and NHTSA are among the sub-agencies seeking public input on topics ranging from barriers to innovation to concepts for hastening deliverable outcomes for AV technology. The period for comment will be open for 45 days following the published announcement, with additional requests anticipated over the coming months.

To view the requests for comments, visit the Department website.

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