USDOT Preparing for Future of Self-Driving Cars

With automated driving technology getting closer to taking the streets, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is reconsidering its own rules and regulations. This new technology will make many current traffic laws obsolete, which USDOT acknowledges. “Right now there are too many outdated transportation rules, terms and concepts that no longer apply to an automated world,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said this past January.

USDOT and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are looking for ways to remove regulatory barriers to automated driving systems and self-driving cars. They are also looking for public feedback on the matter, and plan to host “listening sessions” to hear from the industry and the public. Along with basic passenger vehicles, automated trucks, taxis, and more might be road-ready soon. The NHTSA has also released their own online guide to what self-driving cars mean for traffic laws and safety, which you can read here.

This initiative is part of a growing conscious within the U.S. government about the growing potential of AI technology and innovation. This past December, HR 4625: The Future of Artificial Intelligence Act, was introduced in Congress. AIWS was established to consider the intersection between AI technology and public policy. As such, we are watching developments like HR 4625 and USDOT’s rule revisions with a keen interest.