The Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association (AVIA), knowing that the federal government is going to regulate them eventually, has taken a proactive approach to its problem by outlining suggestions on what it thinks the government can do to help autonomous technology flourish while keeping people safe.
You can read the entire 12 page document at the relevant AVIA webpage. Here is their list of suggestions for autonomous vehicles (AV), with some additional information.
- Supports U.S. innovation in AVs with a clear federal framework that outlines necessary statutory and regulatory elements critical to the AV industry.
- Recognizes the importance of positive AV policy in maintaining the U.S.’ position as an innovation policy leader in the world.
- By seeing AVs as a force for good, the federal government can help them become optimally designed and programmed faster than they would were the government to impede them.
- Encompasses all vehicle types.
- Not just common passenger cars, but also commercial motor vehicles and vehicles with zero occupants.
- Reforms and expands the vehicle exemption process.
- Expands AV testing and evaluation.
- Directs NHTSA to complete Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) rulemakings.
- Codifies preclusion of “make-inoperative” provision for dual use vehicles.
- Codifies FMCSA interpretation that FMCSRs do not require a human driver.
- Most notably, this would exempt AVs from hours-of-service regulations, as the program does not need to sleep.
- Preserves the federal role in regulating motor vehicles and interstate motor carrier activity.
- AVIS wants the federal legislation to guide uniform or similar laws between states when it comes to AVs.
- Expands access to mobility by not requiring a driver’s license to be a passenger in an AV.
- This would allow the very young and very old to obtain freedom they previously did not have.
- Protects confidential information.
- Studies the economic, access and equity impacts of AVs.
- Studies and encourages the development of the AV industry workforce.
- Any policy decision should have the American worker in mind.
Despite the suggestions from AVIA, autonomous trucking is still decades away from becoming reality. AVIA hopes that by getting its foot in the door with federal legislative and regulatory bodies, it will be able to help its members get to selling autonomous vehicles sooner. Our prediction for the matter is still roughly forty years from now, long after a majority of current truckers retire.
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