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Automated Driving Systems: A Vision for Safety provides updated guidance from the Department of Transportation on the safe release of automated vehicle technologies. The document replaces the Federal Automated Vehicle Policy (SciPol brief available) released in 2016. Its purpose is to support industry, states, and other key stakeholders "as they consider and design best practices relative to the testing and deployment of automated vehicle technologies, while informing and educating the public and improving roadway safety."

The updated policy framework includes two sections. Section 1 is Voluntary Guidance for Automated Driving Systems, and Section 2 is Technical Assistance to States, Best Practices for Legislatures Regarding Automated Driving Systems.

According to the executive summary:

Voluntary Guidance supports the automotive industry and other key stakeholders as they consider and design best practices for the testing and safe deployment of Automated Driving Systems (ADSs - SAE Automation Levels 3 through 5 – Conditional, High, and Full Automation Systems). It contains 12 priority safety design elements for consideration, including vehicle cybersecurity, human machine interface, crashworthiness, consumer education and training, and post-crash ADS behavior.

[Best Practices] clarifies and delineates Federal and State roles in the regulation of ADSs. NHTSA remains responsible for regulating the safety design and performance aspects of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment; States continue to be responsible for regulating the human driver and vehicle operations.

The new voluntary guidance is based on public comments received on the previous version of the Federal Automated Vehicle Policy. A request for comments on the updated policy is available on the NHTSA website. 

The source of this post is the Automated Driving Systems: A Vision for Safety executive summary. 

Primary Author 
Michael Clamann, PhD, CHFP
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