U.S. DOT Reveals Latest Autonomous Vehicle Guidelines

The U.S. Department of Transportation, under fire for not doing enough to prevent an Uber self-driving car from killing a pedestrian in Tempe in 2018, has released the latest iteration of guidelines for autonomous vehicle technology.

1 minute read

January 13, 2020, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Autonomous Vehicles

Sundry Photography / Shutterstock

"U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Elaine Chao unveiled the department's newest autonomous vehicle (AV) guidelines," at CES in Las Vegas last week, reports Kristin Musulin.

The guidelines, called "Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies: Autonomous Vehicles 4.0," or AV 4.0, establishes three principles for the government's role as shepherd during the deployment of autonomous vehicle technology. AV 4.0 builds on previous iterations of the federal guidelines, according to Musulin "with a focus on collaboration and an emphasis on maintaining global leadership — particularly in the private sector…"

"The AV 4.0 report says USDOT will establish manufacturing, performance and operational standards to increase safety in AV testing and integration. However, the exact parameters of these standards remain unclear," reports Musulin.

As noted by Musulin, the announcement comes in context of recent criticisms of the federal government's role in ensuring the safety of autonomous vehicle technology in the early days of the technology's testing. "In November 2019, NTSB said an "inadequate safety culture" was to blame for a fatal 2018 crash involving an Uber AV and a pedestrian in Tempe, AZ."

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