This month, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has updated its policies and guidance for automated vehicles — Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0 (AV 3.0). This update not only provides clarity and further guidance on DOT’s existing policies, including the use of voluntary safety standards and the proper roles for the Federal and state governments, but also expands DOT’s guidance beyond passenger vehicles to other modes of transport. The automated vehicle industry should benefit from the regulatory framework set forth in the update and DOT’s emphasis on removing regulatory barriers, while at the same time prioritizing safety.

With the recently released and forecasted rulemakings, stakeholders in the automated vehicle industry, including OEMs, parts suppliers, and software companies, among others should plan on engaging DOT and other lawmakers as DOT sets the framework for the integration.

Importantly, stakeholders have a unique opportunity to comment on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for a Pilot Program for Collaborate Research on Motor Vehicles with High or Full Driving Automation. Posing 22 questions about factors, legal considerations (e.g., regulatory relief), and safety analyses necessary for a successful program, DOT expects to learn about the progress of ADS and the ways it can facilitate testing and development for the benefit of consumers and the traveling public. Comments will shape a possible testing program that may inform standards and rules for the automated vehicle industry. Comments are due November 26, 2018.