Products Liability Law Daily DOT announces launch of safe testing initiative for automated vehicles
Tuesday, June 16, 2020

DOT announces launch of safe testing initiative for automated vehicles

By Kathleen Bianco, J.D.

A number of companies and states have signed up to participate in development and testing activities for automated driving systems.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) commenced its Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing (AV TEST) Initiative on Monday, June 15, 2020, with a kickoff event for the nine companies and eight states that have signed on as the first participants in the new initiative to improve the safety and testing transparency of automated driving systems. The participating companies are Beep, Cruise, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Local Motors, Navya, Nuro, Toyota, Uber, and Waymo. The states are California, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah.

The AV TEST Initiative will include a series of public events across the country to improve transparency and safety in the development and testing of automated driving systems, DOT indicated in a June 15 press release. Participants can share information about their activities, which will help increase the public’s awareness of testing, centralize the Department’s role in promoting safety and innovation, and build stronger relationships among federal, state, and local governments and stakeholders.

In addition to the kickoff event, DOT will be holding a discussion on the opportunities and challenges associated with automated driving systems on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. E.T. On Thursday, June 18, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. E.T., a conversation on the role of on-road testing in automated driving systems will be conducted. Registration is required to attend each session.

The June 17th meeting will include leaders from private-sector organizations focused on different uses of automated driving systems. Topics will include opportunities and challenges in safe on-road testing, design for inclusivity, and emerging technologies currently being used. The June 18th event will provide insight from leaders in industry, academia, and government on the need, role, and history of on-road testing of automotive technologies and will address the current state of development and prototype testing in the United States with a focus on technical progress achieved to date, key challenges, and activities underway.

This voluntary initiative provides an online, public-facing platform for sharing automated driving systems testing activities and other safety-related information. Online mapping tools may show testing locations at the local, state, and national levels, as well as testing activity data, which may include dates, frequency, vehicle counts, and routes.

The AV TEST Initiative is open to all stakeholders involved in the safe development and testing of automated driving system vehicles. At the state and local level, participants may include departments of motor vehicles, departments of transportation, highway safety offices, and city governments. At the automotive industry level, participants may include developers, manufacturers, suppliers, operators, and testers.

The AV TEST Initiative aligns with DOT’s commitment to fostering surface transportation innovations as addressed in AV4.0: Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies [see Products Liability Law Daily’s January 9, 2020, analysis].

Companies: Beep; Cruise; Fiat Chrysler Automobiles; Local Motors; Navya; Nuro; Toyota; Uber; Waymo

MainStory: TopStory MotorVehiclesNews ProductTestingCertNews

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