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NHTSA

The White House released its new Federal Automated Vehicles Policy in September to govern the use of autonomous vehicles.

The policy focuses on highly automated vehicles, or HAVs, in which the vehicle can take full control of the driving task in at least some circumstances, and driver-assistance systems already produced by automakers.

Though developers and manufactures will have freedom to advance the technology, a 15-point safety assessment will be required to ensure safe design, development and implementation. The policy also creates a model for state-level policy initiatives.

“We left some areas intentionally vague because we wanted to outline the areas that need to be addressed and leave the rest to innovators,” said Bryan Thomas, a spokesman for the National Highway Traffic Safety.

The administration referenced several other initiatives in its new policy statement, noting that President Obama proposed investing $4 billion earlier this year to help foster automated vehicle deployment.

“In the 50 years of the U.S. Department of Transportation, there has never been a moment like this,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, “a moment where we can build a culture of safety as a new transportation technology emerges that harnesses the potential to save even more lives and that will improve the quality of life for so many Americans.”

Human error is responsible for a majority of auto crashes, according to the NHTSA. The burden of reducing auto crashes will fall on this new technology.

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You are here: Home News In Brief Autonomous Vehicle Policy Unveiled