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Department of Transportation Releases First Self-Driving Car Regulations

Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Oct 04, 2016 in Auto Accidents

driverless carLate last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released its first guidelines on automated vehicle (AV) development and innovation, with the goal of ensuring safe testing and use of these vehicles.

Government officials believe that AV vehicles have enormous potential to increase safety and reduce vehicular fatalities on American roads, as most accidents are attributed to driver error.

There is increased concern about traffic safety given last year's more than seven percent increase in fatal car accidents, in which 35,092 people lost their lives. This rise was the largest spike since 1966 and the trend has continued into 2016.

Details on the New AV Guidelines

The official name for these new guidelines is the Federal Automated Vehicles Policy, and it is divided into four sections, including:

  • 15-point safety assessment - This section details what AV requirements must be met in order for the vehicles to be considered safe. The 15-point assessment encompasses every aspect of vehicle technology.
  • Model state policy - This part of the guidelines distinguishes between state and federal responsibilities regarding AV regulation. It establishes that the federal government has the final say about AV safety, but states can regulate licensing requirements and car insurance liability.
  • Regulatory tools - This section is more relevant to automakers creating AVs. It details how DOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will communicate with auto manufacturers in a timely manner.
  • Modern Regulatory Tools - The last section addresses the movement away from automakers certifying themselves by performing their own tests and toward newer technologies requiring DOT approval prior to consumer release.

Have you been injured by a self-driving vehicle? If so, contact the skilled car accident lawyers at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings to discuss your legal options. If you are entitled to file a lawsuit, our attorneys will pursue the maximum compensation and justice you deserve.

Contact us right now by calling (877) 920-9009 or completing our Free Case Evaluation form.