i3 - January/February 2018 - 28

Policy

By Jamie Boone

P O L I CY U P DAT E

Feds Clearing the Way for
Self-Driving Vehicles
The second edition of the FAVP
updates key sections to reflect a growing understanding of the technology
and its policy needs. One important
change is a clarification to states
that the Voluntary Safety Self
Assessments (VSSA) should not
U.S. Secretary of
Transportation Elaine be required and is purely volunChao announces
tary. The updated VSSA paramAutomated Driving
eters better reflect the type of
Systems 2.0 at the
McityTest Facility.
information most helpful to
safety regulators and consumers. NHTSA removed several abstract
and ambiguous categories like ethical
considerations and data sharing.
The model state policy guidance
was also revamped, providing clarity
tostate legislatures and transportation
officials regarding the divisions between
federal and state responsibilities. It also
highlights areas state officials should
focus on to remove barriers and plan
for integrating SDVs into their transportation networks.
Finally, FAVP 2.0 removed the future
regulatory tools section, which caused
significant concerns and confusion
he year of the self-driving vehicle (SDV) was 2017.
in the industry regarding NHTSA's
Under the leadership of Transportation Secretary Elaine
potential plans for upending the current
Chao, the U.S. ushered in a new era of transportation,
self-certification model for meeting
innovation and safety. With 94 percent of traffic accidents due
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
(FMVSS) and moving to a pre-market
to human error, Chao and the Department of Transportation
certification standard. This eliminates
(DOT) proved they recognized the important role self-driving
the confusion surrounding future
vehicles play in saving lives and ensuring vehicle safety.
regulation of SDVs.
Sec. Chao has emphasized the evolvAt the National Governors Association's
And so far, the industry can say the
ing nature of the FAVP, revealing
winter meeting last year, Sec. Chao
federal government has indeed been
that NHTSA is working on the third
detailed the vision of the federal govern- a catalyst. Last year, the National
iteration of the policy, which will be
ment in encouraging the development
Highway Traffic Safety Administration
more expansive and touch on commerof SDVs. She noted, "The federal gov(NHTSA), the lead regulator of vehicle
cial vehicles and other modes of transernment is a catalyst for safe, efficient
safety under DOT, made its first public
portation beyond highway vehicles.
technologies, not an impediment. In
foray into regulations for automated
particular, I want to challenge Silicon
vehicle technologies. The Federal
Valley, Detroit, and all other auto indusAutomated Vehicle Policy (FAVP) set
Encouraging Self-driving Tech
try hubs to step up and help educate
voluntary guidance for the industry
DOT is not the only one getting in on
a skeptical public about the benefits of
and for state governments, who have
the self-driving vehicle action. Last year,
automated technology."
increasingly tried to regulate SDVs.
both chambers of Congress introduced
28

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

I T I S I N N O VAT I O N

Jeff Kowalsky/Getty Images

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - January/February 2018

Contents
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