TodayApril 15, 2022

The future of automated vehicles AV 3.0 by DOT

These are notes from the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0 (AV 3.0).

There are six U.S. DOT Automation principles:

The United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) has established a clear and consistent Federal approach to shaping policy for automated vehicles, based on the following six principles.

1. We will prioritize safety.

Automation offers the potential to improve safety for vehicle operators and occupants, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and other travelers sharing the road. However, these technologies may also introduce new safety risks. U.S. DOT will lead efforts to address potential safety risks and advance the life-saving potential of automation, which will strengthen public confidence in these emerging technologies.

2. We will remain technology neutral.

To respond to the dynamic and rapid development of automated vehicles, the Department will adopt flexible, technology-
neutral policies that promote competition and innovation as a means to achieve safety, mobility, and economic goals.
This approach will allow the public—not the Federal Government—to choose the most effective transportation and mobility solutions.

3. We will modernize regulations.

U.S. DOT will modernize or eliminate outdated regulations that unnecessarily impede the development of automated vehicles or that do not address critical safety needs. Whenever possible, the Department will support the development of voluntary,
consensus-based technical standards and approaches that are flexible and adaptable over time. When regulation is needed,
U.S. DOT will seek rules that are as nonprescriptive and performance-based as possible. As a starting point and going forward, the Department will interpret and, consistent with all applicable notice and comment requirements, adapt the definitions of “driver” and “operator” to recognize that such terms do not refer exclusively to a human, but may, in fact, include an automated system.

4. We will encourage a consistent regulatory and operational environment.

Conflicting State and local laws and regulations surrounding automated vehicles create confusion, introduce barriers, and present compliance challenges. U.S. DOT will promote regulatory consistency so that automated vehicles can operate seamlessly across the Nation. The Department will build consensus among State and local transportation agencies and industry stakeholders on technical standards and advance policies to support the integration of automated vehicles throughout the transportation system.

5. We will prepare proactively for automation.

U.S. DOT will provide guidance, best practices, pilot programs, and other assistance to help our partners plan and make the investments needed for a dynamic and flexible automated future. The Department also will prepare for complementary technologies that enhance the benefits of automation, such as communications between vehicles and the surrounding environment, but will not assume universal implementation of any particular approach.

6. We will protect and enhance the freedoms enjoyed by Americans.

U.S. DOT embraces the freedom of the open road, which includes the freedom for Americans to drive their own vehicles. We envision an environment in which automated vehicles operate alongside conventional, manually-driven vehicles and other road users. We will protect the ability of consumers to make the mobility choices that best suit their needs. We will support automation technologies that enhance individual freedom by expanding access to safe and independent mobility to people with disabilities and older Americans.

AV 3.0 is the beginning of a national discussion about the future of our surface transportation system. Safety by the Numbers from the Department of Transportation (DOT):

• An estimated 39,141 people lost their lives on all modes of our transportation system in 2017. The vast majority—37,133 deaths—were from motor vehicle crashes

• In 2017, 82 percent of victims in fatal large truck crashes were road users who were not an occupant of the truck(s) involved.

• Driver Factors: Of all serious motor vehicle crashes, 94 percent involve driver-related factors, such as impaired driving, distraction, and speeding or illegal maneuvers.

• Nearly 11,000 fatalities involved drinking and driving.

• Speeding was a factor in nearly 10,000 highway fatalities.

• 5,977 pedestrians were killed by motor vehicles in 2017, representing 16 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities.

• Nearly 3,500 fatal crashes involved distracted drivers

Over the past 20 years, the U.S. DOT has invested over $700 million in research and development of V2X through partnerships with industry and state/local governments. As a result of these investments and partnerships, V2X technology is on the verge of wide-scale deployment across the Nation.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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