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November 19, 2020 5:15 PM, EST

NHTSA Seeking Input on Autonomous Vehicle Rules

A Chrysler Pacifica hybrid outfitted with Waymo technology is displayed at an auto show in Detroit in January 2017.A Chrysler Pacifica hybrid outfitted with Waymo technology is displayed at an auto show in Detroit in January 2017. (Paul Sancya/Associated Press)

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A proposal to develop a framework that would govern the safety elements of automated driving systems will incorporate input from the public, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced this month.

An advance notice of proposed rulemaking that included instructions on how to comment on the matter regarding automated driving systems, or ADS, was submitted to the Federal Register. The agency indicated wide-scale deployment of ADS-equipped vehicles potentially could occur within the coming years.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao explained on Nov. 19, “This rulemaking will help address legitimate public concerns about safety, security and privacy without hampering innovation in the development of automated driving systems.”

“ADS technologies are different from more conventional automotive equipment, and it is necessary and appropriate to consider how ADS standards can and should be articulated,” added NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens. “The framework of principles would objectively define, assess and manage the safety of ADS, while ensuring the flexibility to enable further innovation.”

According to background the agency published in the Federal Register, “An ADS is the hardware and software that are, collectively, capable of performing the entire dynamic driving task on a sustained basis, regardless of whether it is limited to a specific operational design domain.”

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