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NHTSA Seeks Public Comment On ADS Safety Principles

NHTSA and others have identified elements of a framework necessary for objectively defining and assessing ADS competence.

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is seeking public comment on the potential development of a framework of principles to govern the safe behavior of automated driving systems (ADS) in the future.  The advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) was submitted to the Federal Register on Nov. 19 and is available online here.

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“This rulemaking will help address legitimate public concerns about safety, security and privacy without hampering innovation in the development of automated driving systems,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

While no ADS-equipped vehicle is available for sale to the public today and widescale deployment of ADS-equipped vehicles is likely years away, NHTSA and others have identified elements of a framework necessary for objectively defining and assessing ADS competence. This ANPRM seeks public comment on these elements and how they could most appropriately form a framework that provides for motor vehicle safety while also providing flexibility to develop more effective safety innovations. 

 “ADS technologies are different from more conventional automotive equipment, and it is necessary and appropriate to consider how ADS standards can and should be articulated,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens. “The framework of principles would objectively define, assess, and manage the safety of ADS, while ensuring the flexibility to enable further innovation. NHTSA seeks feedback on the approaches described in the ANPRM.”

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