National Safety Council Statement on AV 3.0
October 15, 2018

Deborah Hersman
National Safety Council

The National Safety Council commends the U.S. Department of Transportation on the release of AV 3.0. The Council also applauds DOT for continuing to evolve its guidance document in response to a rapidly progressing landscape. Technology holds the promise of reversing the staggering death toll on our roadways, and we know that ADAS systems are already saving lives. Higher levels of automation have incredible potential.

While there are several important additions in AV 3.0 to the guidance released last year, NSC is concerned that safety assessments continue to be voluntary, and is disappointed about the lack of focus on public awareness and education.

While dozens of companies are testing vehicles on our roadways, only four have submitted voluntary assessments

While dozens of companies are testing vehicles on our roadways, only four have submitted voluntary assessments. Before putting vehicles on the highway, manufacturers should ensure their technology is ready for prime time and provide increased transparency through publishing safety assessments and commit to data and information sharing.

Additionally, the policy could have placed more emphasis and importance on public awareness and education. We know automation is causing anxiety among the driving public. Helping drivers understand how their vehicles can work with them — not without them — can greatly reduce some of those fears. The National Safety Council educates the public through its MyCarDoesWhat initiative, because education is an important part of behavior change.

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The Council is encouraged by several elements including the addition of commercial motor vehicles, especially since deaths involving these vehicles continue to rise.

We applaud the continued work of the Federal Highway Administration to update the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) to better incorporate these emerging technologies into the fleet.

The Council also appreciates that the policy guidance supports the continued use of the 5.9GHZ spectrum to promote safety.

We will continue to closely monitoring the development of these technologies and the DOT response to their deployment. We firmly believe that ADAS and highly automated vehicles can greatly reduce the number of fatalities on our roadways, and we support comprehensive oversight as the U.S. moves into this future driving environment.