DOT Releases New Federal Guidance for Automated Driving Systems

September 01, 2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation released new federal guidance for Automated Driving Systems (ADSs) on September 12, 2017. The new Voluntary Guidance—titled “Automated Driving Systems 2.0: A Vision for Safety”—replaces the 2016 Federal Automated Vehicles Policy. The new Voluntary Guidance adopts a flexible and less burdensome approach, emphasizing (1) entities’ voluntary compliance and self-assessment submissions, and (2) the States’ role in the regulation of ADSs. 

The voluntary nature of the new Guidance provides entities more room to innovate ADS technology at a much faster pace. Although the new Guidance aligns with concurrent legislative efforts to expand the development and use of ADSs, the Guidance represents a largely non-regulatory approach, as it makes clear that entities are not required to comply with its guidelines and States are discouraged from codifying any part of the Guidance regarding the development, testing or deployment of ADSs.

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