In September, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a voluntary guidance for automated vehicles entitled “Automated Driving Systems 2.0 – A Vision for Safety”. The 36-page document, a much scaled down version of what the agency issued a year earlier under the Obama administration, provides a skeletal framework for recommended safety elements and a voluntary safety self-assessment.
The guidance includes twelve safety elements, including object and event detection response, validation methods, vehicle cybersecurity and data recording. The NHTSA doesn’t offer specific items to be included in laws and regulations but encourages collaboration and communication between federal state and local governments and the private sector going forward. Broad suggestions include providing a technology neutral environment, licensing and registration, reporting and communication channels and a review of traffic laws and regulations that may be barriers to development and operation of automated vehicles.
The NHTSA guidance is strictly voluntary, meaning that any enforceable laws and regulations have yet to be enacted by Congress.
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