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U.S. Transportation Secretary Makes Autonomous Vehicle Announcement In Ann Arbor

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was in Ann Arbor today.  She stopped by the Mcity autonomous vehicle testing site to make an announcement regarding automated vehicles.

"The department is releasing A Vision for Safety 2.0."

That's the name of the new plan that encourages companies and developers of automated vehicles to move forward with testing the technology.  The idea is to no put so many regulations on the companies that would prevent them from putting autonomous vehicles on the roads.  

Secretary Chao says those cars could help save lives across the country.

"94% of serious crashes are caused, unfortunately, by human error. So automated driving systems hold a promise of significantly reducing those errors."

Secretary Chao added that autonomous vehicles could also provide independence to people with disabilities, especially the blind.

Below are key aspects of the A Vision for Safety 2.0 :

  • Twelve priority safety design elements for the automotive industry and other stakeholders to consider, including vehicle cyber security, human machine interface, crashworthiness, consumer education and training, and post-crash automated vehicle behavior.
  • Technical assistance to states and best practices for state legislatures regarding automated driving systems. This includes clarification of federal and state roles in the regulation of automated driving systems.
  • Information on best practices for state highway safety officials, including a framework for states to develop procedures and conditions for automated driving systems’ safe operation on public roadways. This includes considerations such as applications and permissions to test, registration and titling, working with public safety officials, and liability and insurance.
  • An encouragement for entities engaged in testing and deployment to publicly disclose voluntary safety self-assessments of their systems to demonstrate their varied approaches to achieving safety.

These guidelines replace a Federal Automated Vehicles Policy released by the government last year. 

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— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him javellan@emich.edu

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