Earlier this year, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a Policy Statement earlier this year seeking to foster life-saving automated vehicle technologies:http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/dot-initiatives-accelerating-vehicle-safety-innovations-01142016
To achieve those goals and to develop Guidelines, NHTSA will hold a public meeting in Washington DC on April 8th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seeking input on automated vehicle technologies. For those not able to attend, NTHSA is taking written comments on eleven topics related to Automated Vehicle (“AV”) technologies that would benefit from federal guidelines:
1. Evaluation and testing of scenarios the AV system should detect and correctly operate in.
2. Detection and communication of operational boundaries.
3. Environmental operation and sensing.
4. Driver transitioning to/from AV operating mode:
5. Data recording capabilities.
6. Crash avoidance capability.
7. Electronics systems safety.
8. Non-passenger AVs.
9. Aspects of AV technology that may not be suitable or ready for guidelines.
10. Identification of industry voluntary standards, best practices, etc., related to automated vehicle operation.
11. Information AV’s may need to communicate to pedestrians and other vehicles (manual or automated) just as a driver would.
The NHTSA Notice with details on how to register for the meeting and/or submit written comments is available at: Guidelines for the Safe Deployment and Operation of Automated Vehicle Safety Technologies PDF.
As autonomous and connected car technology goes forward, it is important to influence the guidelines and requirements developed on the federal level. Participation in meetings and providing written comments is critical to being heard. Butzel Long is experienced in providing comments on these and similar regulatory issues. If you have any questions on providing comments, please contact the authors of this bulletin or your Butzel Long attorney.