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U.S. DOT issues Federal Policy for safe testing and deployment of automated vehicles | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Federal Automated Vehicles Policy

Ran across this while looking in on our PPS mat issue. I haven't read the full policy yet but here are the highlights according to the NHTSA:

A summary of each section of the policy follows:


◾15 Point Safety Assessment –The Vehicle Performance Guidance for Automated Vehicles for manufacturers, developers and other organizations includes a 15 point “Safety Assessment” for the safe design, development, testing and deployment of automated vehicles.

◾Model State Policy – This section presents a clear distinction between Federal and State responsibilities for regulation of highly automated vehicles, and suggests recommended policy areas for states to consider with a goal of generating a consistent national framework for the testing and deployment of highly automated vehicles.

◾NHTSA’s Current Regulatory Tools – This discussion outlines NHTSA’s current regulatory tools that can be used to ensure the safe development of new technologies, such as interpreting current rules to allow for greater flexibility in design and providing limited exemptions to allow for testing of nontraditional vehicle designs in a more timely fashion.

◾Modern Regulatory Tools – This discussion identifies new regulatory tools and statutory authorities that policymakers may consider in the future to aid the safe and efficient deployment of new lifesaving technologies.​

The primary focus of the policy is on highly automated vehicles, or those in which the vehicle can take full control of the driving task in at least some circumstances. Portions of the policy also apply to lower levels of automation, including some of the driver-assistance systems already being deployed by automakers today.

Simultaneously with this policy, NHTSA is releasing a final enforcement guidance bulletin clarifying how its recall authority will apply to automated vehicle technologies. In particular, it emphasizes that semi-autonomous driving systems that fail to adequately account for the possibility that a distracted or inattentive driver-occupant might fail to retake control of the vehicle in a safety-critical situation may be defined as an unreasonable risk to safety and subject to recall.
 
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