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The Department of Transportation and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) are inviting public comments on AV 4.0, the latest federal update of autonomous vehicle technology guidelines.
DOT announced the request for comments in a document scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on Feb. 6. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced AV 4.0, titled “Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies,” at CES 2020 in Las Vegas on Jan. 8.
AV 4.0 is meant to act as a unifying set of principles across 38 federal departments, agencies, commissions and executive offices, and offers guidance to state and local government agencies, technology experts and industry representatives.
“The U.S. DOT and OSTP sees AV 4.0 as a method to ensure a consistent [U.S. government] approach to AV technologies and to ensure that the United States continues to lead AV technologies’ research, development and integration,” the Federal Register document states.
The guidelines were structured around U.S. AV technology principles, administration efforts to bolster AV technology growth and government opportunities for collaboration. AV 4.0 was designed to ensure a consistent regulatory approach, prioritize safety and promote innovation.
Additionally, the guidelines describe the Trump administration’s efforts to support AV technology and opportunities for collaboration, such as federal investments in the AV sector and resources for researchers and members of the public.
AV 4.0 builds on AV 3.0, the iteration of the guidelines that was released in October 2018. DOT’s previous guidance on automated driving systems, AV 2.0, was published in September 2017.
Chao has pointed out how AV technology can improve safety, help reduce traffic congestion and offer mobility options for people who face transportation challenges, such as the elderly and the disabled.
In addition to updating guidelines on AV technology, DOT has recently launched initiatives relating to advanced driver assistance systems. During her remarks at the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting Jan. 15, Chao announced DOT is endorsing a standardized list of recommended ADAS terminology called “Clearing the Confusion.” The list, a collaboration among the National Safety Council, AAA, Consumer Reports and data analytics company J.D. Power, is based on ADAS system functionality.
Chao’s announcement about the list came two days after the American Transportation Research Institute published an analysis calling for the federal government to create a policy regarding autonomous vehicle technology in the trucking industry.
DOT will be accepting comments on AV 4.0 through April 2.
“Given that we intend for the policy document to be a living document and to be developed in an iterative fashion, subsequent opportunities to comment will also be provided periodically,” the Federal Register notice states.
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