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NHTSA Issues Long-Awaited Automated Vehicle Guidance

This morning, on September 20, 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued long-awaited guidance on automated vehicles (AV). DOT took a flexible approach of “guidance” and does not intend the document to be the last word on autonomous driving. Rather, it seeks to create a framework and process that will inform future DOT action. It’s interesting that DOT raises the possibility of pre-market approval, and an appendix uses FAA authority as an analog. Finally, DOT expressly raises the ethical issues involved in AV programming, although it does not seek to take a definitive position on them.

The DOT guidance document is linked here:

https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/AV%20policy%20guidance%20PDF.pdf

I will be digesting and holding programs about the guidance at our monthly Meetup on robotics and artificial intelligence on this topic.