US Department of Transportation updates guidelines on autonomous vehicles

January 9, 2020  - By
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Image: USDOT

Image: USDOT

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday released updated guidelines for autonomous vehicles.

“Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies: Automated Vehicles 4.0” (AV 4.0) was announced by U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao in a keynote speech at CES 2020 in Las Vegas.

AV 4.0 unifies efforts in automated vehicles across 38 federal departments, independent agencies, commissions and executive offices, providing high-level guidance to state and local governments, innovators and stakeholders on the U.S. government’s approach toward autonomous vehicles.

“AV 4.0 will ensure American leadership in AV technology development and integration by providing unified guidance for the first time across the federal government for innovators and stakeholders,” Chao said.

AV 4.0 establishes federal principles for the development and integration of automated vehicles, consisting of three core focus areas: prioritize safety and security, promote innovation, and ensure a consistent regulatory approach.

It also outlines ongoing administration efforts supporting autonomous vehicle technology growth and leadership, as well as opportunities for collaboration including federal investments in the sector and resources for innovators, researchers and the public.

“AV 4.0 brings all of the important work happening on automated vehicle technologies across the federal government under one unified approach. The federal principles released today help foster an environment for innovators to advance safe AV technologies, and put the U.S. in a position of continued leadership in the future of transportation,” said U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios.

The USDOT is preparing for emerging technologies by engaging with new technologies to address legitimate public concerns about safety, security and privacy without hampering innovation, the department said in a press release.

With the release of “Automated Driving Systems 2.0: A Vision for Safety” (ADS 2.0) in September 2017, the USDOT provided voluntary guidance to industry, as well as technical assistance and best practices to states, offering a path forward for the safe testing and integration of Automated Driving Systems.

In October 2018, “Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0” (AV 3.0) introduced guiding principles for autonomous vehicle innovation for all surface transportation modes, and described the USDOT’s strategy to address existing barriers to potential safety benefits and progress.

“AV 4.0 builds on these efforts by presenting a unifying posture to inform collaborative efforts in automated vehicles for all stakeholders and outlines past and current federal government efforts to ensure the United States leads the world in AV technology development and integration while prioritizing safety, security, and privacy and safeguarding the freedoms enjoyed by Americans,” the press release stated.

AV 4.0 will be published in the Federal Register for public review and comment. More information on the USDOT’s work on automated vehicles can be found at https://www.transportation.gov/av/4.

About the Author:


Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006, and also is editor of GPS World’s sister website, Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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