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Who's Making the Rules in the Fast-moving AV Age?

  • Magazine Article
  • 20AVEP01_09
Published January 01, 2020 by SAE International in United States
  • English

The auto industry's impact on NHTSA's regulatory cadence is apparent - and it's challenging theories of rulemaking.

Even to casual observers, it's clear that the regulatory landscape for autonomous vehicles (AVs) is a void filled with uncertainty. Outside of requirements that mandate technologies often considered “enemies” of autonomy, very little work has been completed related to AVs. To fill the regulatory vacuum, NHTSA has issued several often-discussed “guidance” documents.

These include the Federal Automated Vehicles Policy (AV 1.0), Automated Driving Systems: A Vision for Safety (AV 2.0) and Preparing for the Future of Transportation (AV 3.0). Crucially, these are guidelines and are not legally binding. They provide little in terms of concrete, technical details outside of AV 3.0's strong support for industry standards. If you were to ask yourself what's holding up the creation of actual legislation, consider these three issues: