Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announced the fourth iteration of the federal automated vehicle policy during a keynote speech at CES 2020.
Named Automated Vehicles 4.0: Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies, the guidance streamlines federal guidance for 38 government agencies, departments, commissions and others, Chao said, and is aimed at maintaining highway safety while allowing development on AVs to flourish.
“The takeaway from AV 4.0 is that the federal government is all in for safer, better and more inclusive transportation, aided by automated driving systems,” she said.
As was the case with the earlier versions, AV 4.0 does not pick winners and losers among specific technology.
Instead, it adheres to three key principles, she said: protect users and communities, such as by prioritizing safety and emphasizing cybersecurity and privacy; promoting efficient markets, including by protecting American intellectual property and streamlining regulations; and facilitating coordinated efforts, aimed at ensuring a consistent federal approach among the agencies and other bodies Chao mentioned.
“Automated vehicles can save thousands of lives annually,” Chao said, and could also restore mobility for “for millions of people who face transportation challenges, such as the elderly or the disabled.”
Chao also noted the Federal Aviation Administration recently released a notice of proposed rulemaking for remote identification of drones, which has “significant security implications” for the industry.
The recent operations of “mystery drones” flying at night over Nebraska and Colorado provide a timely reminder of the need for this system, Chao said.
The deadline for comments on the rule is March 2, 2020.
AV 4.0 was described as a joint venture between the White House and the DOT, and White House CTO Michael Kratsios spoke after Chao and noted that the White House has also released federal guidance on the development of artificial intelligence.
“This is a very, very big step both for the United States and the world,” Kratsios said.
The guidance is aimed at promoting dialogue with industry, he said.
“We can’t begin to blindly put out rules without interaction.”