Federal policy for automated vehicle testing and deployment issued

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Another step in the march toward automated vehicles was taken Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a four-part Federal policy to provide safety assurance and facilitate innovation in the field. The policy outlines requirements for a fifteen point ‘safety assessment,’ as well as ways in which current regulatory tools can be used in conjunction with newly created ones to help improve safety and mobility for drivers in the future. Additionally, a national framework is laid out by this policy to provide states with guidance for forming their own individual policies.

Officials say the focus of the policy is mainly highly automated vehicles – those that could take full control in certain circumstances. You can read more details about the policy at www.transportation.gov/AV.

In response to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announcing this new guidance, U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) issued the following statement:

“The future of the automotive industry is rapidly changing, and we must ensure our policies keep pace with these emerging technologies that will save lives and completely redefine the way we get around in the future. Today’s announcement from NHTSA marks a major milestone in the effort to bring automated vehicles to America’s roads and ensure our country remains at the cutting edge of automotive technology, and I look forward to carefully reviewing this guidance.

“To help these new technologies come to market, we must have a clear and consistent national framework to avoid a patchwork of state laws that may inhibit innovation. I am pleased that NHTSA’s guidance addresses this issue, and I urge states to work with NHTSA and other stakeholders to that end.

“I am also pleased that this guidance encourages the auto industry in America to continue their collaborative work with partners in government and academia to develop, test and validate connected and automated vehicle technologies. This work is already well underway in Michigan at testing facilities like Mcity in Ann Arbor, and will soon be taking place on a larger scale at the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti, which will serve as a model public-private partnership for stakeholders seeking to shape the future of transportation in this country.

“Today’s announcement builds upon NHTSA’s important work to advance life-saving vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications technology on a wide-scale in the next few years. I am hopeful that NHTSA’s rule requiring V2V will be released soon so innovators can continue to advance this complementary technology.

“This guidance will show the rest of the world that America is taking steps to be the global leader in the development and deployment of advanced vehicle technologies. Just eight years ago, people were predicting the financial ruin of the auto industry. Today, not only have our autos come roaring back with record sales, but they are now working to produce some of the greatest innovations in American manufacturing history. As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, and as co-founder of the Senate Smart Transportation Caucus, I will continue working to develop policies that will ensure that the United States remains the world leader in automotive innovation and reshape mobility for decades to come.”