The U.S. Department of Transportation released Thursday new Federal guidance for automated vehicles, “Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0” (AV 3.0.) The guidance builds upon, but does not replace, voluntary guidance given in “Automated Driving Systems 2.0: A Vision for Safety”.

AV 3.0 includes the results of stakeholder engagement and provides updated voluntary guidance and policy considerations for a variety of industry sectors, including state and local governments, infrastructure owners and operators, commercial motor carriers, bus transit, and manufacturers and technology developers.

“The safe integration of automated vehicle technology into our transportation system will increase productivity, facilitate freight movement and create new types of jobs,” Secretary Elaine L. Chao said.

AV 3.0 provides new multi-modal safety guidance, reduces policy uncertainty, clarifies roles, and outlines a process for working with USDOT as automated vehicle technologies evolve. It also announces and discusses multiple rulemakings and other actions occurring in the near future by the DOT’s administrations.

Specific updates in the new AV 3.0 guidance include:

  • Stating that the Department will interpret and, consistent with all applicable notice and comment requirements, adapt the definitions of “driver” or “operator” as appropriate to recognize that such terms do not refer exclusively to a human, but may include an automated system.
  • Identifying and supporting the development of automation-related voluntary standards developed through organizations and associations, which can be an effective non-regulatory means to advance the integration of automation technologies.
  • Affirming that the Department is continuing its work to preserve the ability for transportation safety applications to function in the 5.9 GHz spectrum.

The draft Guidance will be available for public review and comment in the Federal Register.

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