Auto Alliance Response To Guidance On Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles have great potential to make our roads safer and less congested while providing mobility for the disabled and older citizens, so we want to deploy them as quickly as possible.

Guidance is the right action to take since the technology is developing quickly and collaboration between automakers and NHTSA is critical to avoid policies that become outdated and inadvertently limit progress in reducing the number of crashes and saving lives.

We recognize that states are evaluating the establishment of guidelines for both the operation and use of autonomous vehicles, and we look forward to working with NHTSA and state policymakers to produce a consistent, nationwide approach that ensures these vehicles are brought to market without unnecessary restrictions or delay. Since autonomous vehicles have the potential to reduce crashes and alleviate congestion, we are working to deploy them as quickly as possible.

Automakers continue making enormous progress in saving lives and reducing the severity of crashes on America’s roadways by improving crash worthiness and incorporating life-saving equipment into today’s vehicles. The next big leap forward lies in working to avoid crashes altogether through the continued development and deployment of automated technologies.

Federal statistics confirm that 94 percent of all crashes involve driver error, so getting more automated driving technologies on our roads is critical to long-term safety improvements. Our ability to advance this technology depends on a public policy balance that recognizes and supports innovation. That’s why the Alliance will review this guidance carefully and comment as necessary.

Automakers continue to support efforts to preserve automaker innovation; streamline legislative and regulatory activity to support the global manufacturing process; and provide automakers clear liability protection regarding aftermarket conversion.

Alliance member automakers take very seriously the need to ensure that both semi-automated and fully automated technologies are deployed only after being fully developed and tested, and that drivers fully understand their own role in the vehicle’s safe operation.

As automakers continue to pioneer these technologies in concert with hundreds of global technology partners, the Alliance urges policymakers at all levels to proceed cautiously in creating new frameworks that could delay the introduction of these technologies. Establishing premature certification requirements, test procedures and performance criteria, dictating technology-specific approaches, or adopting a patchwork of ill-timed competing state rules would only inhibit vehicle innovation and limit these important life-saving safety improvements.