Seeks Comments Within 60 Days of Federal Register Publication

On September 20, 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation ("DOT") issued its Federal Automated Vehicles Policy (the "Policy") pertaining to both highly automated vehicles ("HAVs") and, in part, lesser-automated vehicles. Though issued as agency guidance, rather than rulemaking, the Policy promises to be influential as to the substance of new state automated vehicle laws and best practices for automated vehicle testing and deployment.

In a potential deviation from its current self-certification regulatory structure, the Policy identifies additional authorities   including a pre-deployment approval process and cease and desist powers in case of imminent hazard   that DOT may request from Congress to address safety challenges. The Policy also advises that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA") will, without change to its regulatory structure, investigate any safety concern associated with HAVs and "exercise its enforcement authority to the fullest extent."

Although the Policy is largely effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register (anticipated shortly), DOT seeks input from stakeholders within 60 days through the Request for Comment at www.nhtsa.gov/AV.

For more information about the Policy, click here.