Transit a Focus of Next DOT Automated Vehicle Policy

Industry experts and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) leaders convened in Washington last week for a listening summit on the automated vehicle (AV) policy framework to be released this summer.

The central focus of the meeting was the draft for AV 3.0, an iteration of AV guidance that will home in on mass transit and automation in relation to trains, rail, trucking, and ports. The previous policy framework, DOT's 2017 release of the ADS 2.0: A Vision for Safety, was mainly focused on automated driving systems in individually owned automobiles.

Top Priority Remains Safety

Six priorities were set by the department for preparing for the future of automated transportation. They were laid out at the beginning of the summit by Secretary Elaine Chao in order of importance, and DOT officials reiterated them throughout each succeeding session.

DOT's top priority continues to be safety, followed by remaining tech neutral, maintaining a non-prescriptive and performance-based regulatory environment, working with states and localities, preparing for complementary AV technologies, and ensuring that AVs work well with the nation's traditional fleet.

DOT Welcomes Input

From the offset of the summit, Secretary Chao urged industry stakeholders to weigh in on AV policy. Regulators within a multitude of DOT agencies have been seeking public comment on a variety of issues, and the Secretary made it point to say that DOT is listening.

Top image: A screen capture of Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao speaking at the March 1, 2018, public listening summit on automated vehicles policy. Source: DOT video.

About the Author
Trevor Grady is APA's government affairs associate.

March 6, 2018

By Trevor Grady