Autonomous Vehicle Industry Announces Policy Recommendations
May 10, 2023

The Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association (AVIA) unveiled its federal policy recommendations for unlocking the full capacity of autonomous vehicle safety, mobility, and economic opportunities for Americans.

The framework outlines recommendations for Congress and the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) to maximize the deployment and commercialization of safe autonomous technology across the United States.

This is the first recommended federal framework that includes all modes of autonomous vehicles (AVs), including zero-occupancy delivery vehicles, trucks and passenger cars. The recommendations include both steps that USDOT should take and the necessary components of federal legislation that will support the safe and expeditious advancement of AVs in the US.

"AVs are testing and operating in states around the country, bringing people and goods to where they need to go. America is currently the leader in AV technology, but other countries are surging forward. It is time for the US to solidify our leadership, and these policy recommendations will expand opportunities for AVs to increase road safety, create new mobility options, and support economic growth and new jobs," said Jeff Farrah, Executive Director of AVIA.

AVIA outlined these recommendations in letters to Congressional leaders and the US Department of Transportation. The framework serves as a resource for all federal policymakers.

To open a path for the safe deployment and commercialization of AVs, Congress should enact Federal legislation that:

■ Supports US 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 United States's position as an innovation policy leader in the world.

■ Encompasses all vehicle types.

■ 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.

■ Preserves the federal role in regulating motor vehicles and interstate motor carrier activity.

■ Expands access to mobility by not requiring a driver’s license to be a passenger in an AV.

■ Protects confidential information.

■ Studies the economic, access, and equity impacts of AVs.

■ Studies and encourages the development of the AV industry workforce.

To advance AVs, AVIA encourages USDOT to: 

■ Update regulations to support AV deployment.

■ Accelerate the path for novel design vehicles.

■ Complete the final rule on safe integration of ADS in commercial motor vehicles.

■ Promote AV safety by developing technical standards, conducting research, convening the industry to establish common approaches, and fully leveraging existing data collections to inform future regulatory approaches to AV safety.

■ Preserve foreign market access via active engagement with other governments and international bodies.