ITE Journal - April 2020 - 22

| op/ed
understanding of the benefits of AV technology as well
as the complex issues that will arise.

A Debate at Many Levels
Many voices in the AV discussion across the nation have
urged the federal government to step in and set nationwide ground-rules for AV testing and operation in order
to avoid a state-by-state regulatory patchwork. Clearly,
the endgame will demand a uniform, national system
of governance.
But there's a reason that Congress (as of this writing)
has not made great progress toward enactment of AV
legislation, and that USDOT has thus far taken a light
hand in promoting AV safety without exercising its
considerable existing regulatory authority.
There has not yet emerged a clear recognition of the
appropriate governing structure that will maintain the
fine balance between innovation and safety, and with
the flexibility required to adapt to fast-moving progress.
A single national approach that proves to be premature
or wrong could slow progress, stifle promising innovations, or just be ineffectual.
Meanwhile, in keeping with their role as the "laboratories of democracy," the states are trying various
approaches, sharing their findings and perspectives. Out
of these efforts are likely to come a range of empirically
tested options for governing AV technology as it develops.
The good news is that we are just getting started, so
there is a reason to be experimental, and time to do it. But
not forever. It took just 65 years-shorter than an average
lifetime-to get from the Wright Brothers first flight in
Kitty Hawk, NC, to humans standing on the moon.
Fully automated vehicles may be some ways down
the road for general purpose use, but they are surely
coming. Best we exercise our flexibility to get ready. itej

References
1.	 "Public Opinion Polls Show Skepticism About Autonomous
Vehicles." Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, April 26,
2019. https://saferoads.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/
AV-Public-Opinion-Polls-4-26-18.pdf. (Accessed
February 28, 2020).
2.	 Lienert, P. and Caspani, M. "Americans still don't trust selfdriving cars, Reuters/Ipsos poll finds." Reuters, April 1, 2019.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-selfdriving-poll/
americans-still-dont-trust-self-driving-cars-reuters-ipsospoll-finds-idUSKCN1RD2QS. (Accessed February 28, 2020).
3.	 Elliot, L. "Are 175 Million Americans Right About Driverless
Cars? Remarkably, Yes," Forbes, May 3, 2019. https://
22

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www.forbes.com/sites/lanceeliot/2019/05/03/are-175million-americans-right-about-driverless-cars-remarkablyyes/#1a6659dc4d62. (Accessed February 28, 2020).
"Road Safety Facts." Association for Safe International Road
Travel. https://www.asirt.org/safe-travel/road-safety-facts/.
(Accessed February 28, 2020).
"Automated Vehicle Testing Guidance." Pennsylvania
Department of Transportation, July 23, 2018. https://www.
penndot.gov/ProjectAndPrograms/ResearchandTesting/
Autonomous%20_Vehicles/Documents/PennDOT%20
HAV%20Testing%20Guidance.pdf. (Accessed
February 28, 2020).
Accident Report. "Collision Between Vehicle Controlled by
Developmental Automated Driving System and Pedestrian
Tempe, Arizona." National Transportation Safety Board.
Adopted November 19, 2019. https://www.ntsb.gov/
investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/HAR1903.pdf.
(Accessed February 28, 2020).
"Autonomous Vehicle Policy Task Force, Commonwealth
Representatives." Pennsylvania Department of
Transportation. https://www.penndot.gov/
ProjectAndPrograms/ResearchandTesting/Pages/
Autonomous-Vehicle-Task-Force.aspx. (Accessed
February 28, 2020).
Vehicle Code (75 PA.C.S.), Platooning and Highly
Automated Vehicles. Pennsylvania General Assembly, Act
of Oct. 24, 2018, P.L. 729, No. 117, Cl. 75, Session of 2018.
No. 2018-117. https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/li/
uconsCheck.cfm?yr=2018&sessInd=0&act=117. (Accessed
February 28, 2020).

Yassmin Gramian, P.E., serves as the
acting secretary of the Pennsylvania
Department of Transportation (PennDOT)
where she oversees programs and policies
affecting highways, urban and rural public
transportation, airports, railroads, ports, and waterways.
Yassmin is a professional engineer in Pennsylvania,
Delaware, New Jersey and Florida, and has more than 30
years of experience in operations, design, and management of transportation infrastructure systems, including
highway, tolling, bridge, and railroad projects. Prior to
joining PennDOT she served as a senior vice president and
business development director for a leading international
engineering firm. She earned master's and bachelor's
degrees in civil engineering from the University of Michigan
and completed the Tuck Management Training Program at
Dartmouth College.


http://www.forbes.com/sites/lanceeliot/2019/05/03/are-175 https://www.asirt.org/safe-travel/road-safety-facts/ https://www. penndot.gov/ProjectAndPrograms/ResearchandTesting/ Autonomous%20_Vehicles/Documents/PennDOT%20 HAV%20Testing%20Guidance.pdf https://www. penndot.gov/ProjectAndPrograms/ResearchandTesting/ Autonomous%20_Vehicles/Documents/PennDOT%20 HAV%20Testing%20Guidance.pdf https://www. penndot.gov/ProjectAndPrograms/ResearchandTesting/ Autonomous%20_Vehicles/Documents/PennDOT%20 HAV%20Testing%20Guidance.pdf https://www. penndot.gov/ProjectAndPrograms/ResearchandTesting/ Autonomous%20_Vehicles/Documents/PennDOT%20 HAV%20Testing%20Guidance.pdf https://www.ntsb.gov/ investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/HAR1903.pdf https://www.ntsb.gov/ investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/HAR1903.pdf https://www.penndot.gov/ ProjectAndPrograms/ResearchandTesting/Pages/ Autonomous-Vehicle-Task-Force.aspx https://www.penndot.gov/ ProjectAndPrograms/ResearchandTesting/Pages/ Autonomous-Vehicle-Task-Force.aspx https://www.penndot.gov/ ProjectAndPrograms/ResearchandTesting/Pages/ Autonomous-Vehicle-Task-Force.aspx https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/li/ uconsCheck.cfm?yr=2018&sessInd=0&act=117 https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/li/ uconsCheck.cfm?yr=2018&sessInd=0&act=117 https://www.saferoads.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/AV-Public-Opinion-Polls-4-26-18.pdf https://www.saferoads.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/AV-Public-Opinion-Polls-4-26-18.pdf https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-selfdriving-poll/americans-still-dont-trust-self-driving-cars-reuters-ipsos-poll-finds-idUSKCN1RD2QS https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-selfdriving-poll/americans-still-dont-trust-self-driving-cars-reuters-ipsos-poll-finds-idUSKCN1RD2QS https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-selfdriving-poll/americans-still-dont-trust-self-driving-cars-reuters-ipsos-poll-finds-idUSKCN1RD2QS http://www.forbes.com/sites/lanceeliot/2019/05/03/are-175

ITE Journal - April 2020

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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G100154_ITE_November2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G99495_ITE_October2018
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