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DOT Reveals New Self-Driving Car Guidance DOT Reveals New Self-Driving Car Guidance

DOT Reveals New Self-Driving Car Guidance

Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation (“USDOT”) released Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies: Automated Vehicles 4.0 – the most recent in its series of statements from the agency designed to provide high-level guidance to innovators, stakeholders, and state and local governments with respect to self-driving vehicles.

This release was preceded by voluntary guidance in Automated Vehicles 2.0 and Automated Vehicles 3.0, which left some uncertainty surrounding the future of autonomous vehicle regulation. Automated Vehicles 2.0 focused generally on development of safety design elements involved in implementation and supporting public trust and confidence in autonomous vehicles. Automated Vehicles 3.0 responded to stakeholder input through policy suggestions to state and local governments, defined a targeted Federal role in automation research, and contemplated changes to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulation. Automated Vehicles 4.0 appears to build on its predecessors toward statutory development by focusing on uniformity across federal entities.

This month’s announcement marks USDOT’s participation in a joint initiative alongside the White House and 38 other federal entities to encourage a flourishing U.S. economy through the outlined goals of prioritizing safety, including cybersecurity; promoting innovation, such as through protection of intellectual property; ensuring consistent regulatory approaches; and enhancing mobility and accessibility to autonomous vehicles, thereby improving the quality of life for many Americans.

This initiative brings opportunities for private sector stakeholders to receive strategic federal investments and access to other government resources designed to aid in safety, innovation, and implementation efforts. In announcing Automated Vehicles 4.0, USDOT Secretary Elaine Chao emphasized these collaborations as central to the initiative.

Ice Miller, including its Government Law, Data Privacy & Security, and Intellectual Property practices will continue to monitor developments in this area. Please contact Lindsay Miller or Tom Lynch if you have questions.

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.

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