DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx introduced a new federal strategy to help develop autonomous driving technology at the Detroit auto show, joined by execs from Tesla, Google, Ford, GM, Delphi and other automotive firms.
“If the government doesn’t change its ways, drivers in the future will not be moving on the highways – they will be crawling in traffic,” said Foxx. “In 2016, we are going to do everything we can to advance safe, smart innovation. We are bullish on automated vehicles.”
The Obama administration’s next annual budget will propose $4 billion over the next 10 years to support testing and pilot programs. Perhaps more importantly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will work with companies and states over the next six months to start developing consistent regulations for autonomous driving technology.
The NHTSA will work with industry and other stakeholders to develop guidance on the safe deployment and operation of autonomous vehicles, and to develop a model state policy that offers a path to a consistent national policy.
Secretary Foxx encouraged manufacturers to submit rule interpretation requests to help enable technology innovation. For example, NHTSA responded to an interpretation request from BMW confirming that the company’s remote self-parking system meets federal safety standards.