NHTSA releases policy on vehicle automation technology

June 5, 2013

Washington – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on May 30 released a new policy statement (.pdf file) on vehicle automation technology. Vehicle automation ranges from fully “self-driving” vehicles to specific operations such as cruise control or lane centering.

Specifically, the new policy describes which vehicle automation technologies have the greatest potential to reduce crash injuries and fatalities, and summarizes NHTSA research on the safety of the technologies.

NHTSA also offers recommendations for states that have begun, or would like to begin, permitting the testing of self-driving vehicles. The technology performs all driving functions for the entirety of a trip, with the users providing a destination or navigation information. The policy provides guidance for states to help ensure the technology is used safely as it continues to develop.