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Preparing for the Future with AV 4.0

Posted by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao

At the U.S. Department of Transportation, we are always working on ways to make transportation safer, more accessible, and better for everyone—today and in the future!  Automated vehicle technologies is a rapidly evolving arena, with potential to save thousands of lives every year and improve quality of life through reduced traffic congestion and increased productivity. AVs would restore mobility for millions of people who face transportation challenges, such as the elderly and people with disabilities. 

AV technologies are not yet advanced enough to enable wide-scale deployment of fully autonomous vehicles.  But some automated technology is already improving safety on America’s roads as a number of AV technologies are now commonly available in new cars.  Blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warnings and automatic braking systems are already providing safety benefits.

This week I announced the release of: “AV 4.0 – Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies.”  This is a joint initiative with the White House.    

The takeaway from AV 4.0 is that the Federal Government is all in—for safer, better and more inclusive transportation, aided by automated driving systems. AV 4.0 unifies AV efforts across 38 Federal departments, independent agencies, commissions, and Executive Offices of the President. It recognizes the value of private sector leadership in AV research, development, and integration. Such innovation requires appropriate government oversight to ensure safety, open markets, strategic allocation of public resources, and protection of the public interest. Realizing the vast potential of AVs will require collaboration and information sharing among industry partners, State and local governments, academia, non-profits, standards development organizations, and the Federal Government.

AV 4.0 will strengthen collaborative efforts in automated vehicles for all stakeholders. It also outlines Federal Government efforts to address areas of concern. AV 4.0 is built around three core principles: 1) protect users and communities; 2) promote efficient markets; and 3) facilitate coordinated efforts.

The need and quest for more, better—and safer—transportation technologies never stops. Investment in AV research and development is growing rapidly. The U.S. Department of Transportation is actively engaged to help ensure that the integration of AV technologies advances safety, mobility, and other important goals that will benefit all Americans.   

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