LAS VEGAS — The White House and the U.S. Department of Transportation this week announced a new initiative entitled “Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies: Automated Vehicles 4.0.” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao described the interdepartmental effort in a keynote speech at CES here. The so-called AV 4.0 initiative is intended to unify automated vehicle policies across 38 federal departments, independent agencies, commissions, and executive offices of the president.
AV 4.0 will also provide high-level guidance to state and local governments, innovators, and all stakeholders on the U.S. government’s approach towards self-driving cars and other 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,” stated Chao.
Three focus areas for AV 4.0
AV 4.0 establishes federal principles for the development and integration of autonomous vehicles, consisting of three core focus areas: prioritizing safety and security, promoting innovation, and ensuring a consistent regulatory approach. It also outlines ongoing administration efforts supporting driverless technology growth and leadership. The initiative will also outline opportunities for collaboration, including federal investments in the AV 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,” said Michael Kratsios, U.S. chief technology officer. “The federal principles released on Wednesday 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.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) said it is actively preparing for emerging technologies by engaging with new technologies to address legitimate public concerns about safety, security, and privacy without hampering innovation.
Building on past efforts
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. It described 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 innovation for all surface transportation modes. It described the USDOT’s strategy to address existing barriers to potential safety benefits and progress from autonomy.
The department said 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 efforts to ensure the U.S. leads the world in AV technology development and integration. In addition, it claimed the coordination will protect safety, security, and privacy and while respecting commercial and individual freedoms.
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 www.transportation.gov/av/4.