Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.



Created by Congressional Order H.R.1865 - Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (2019), the Highly Automated Systems Safety Center of Excellence (HASS COE) was established "in order to have a Department of Transportation workforce capable of reviewing, assessing, and validating the safety of automated technologies." 

The HASS COE will conduct research on broad focus areas, including systems safety, technical standards, and emerging topics assessment. The COE's review functions will include: technical evaluations of industry developed standards; assessment work including technical research and analysis; and validation functions including the development of tests and test procedures. It will perform a vital information function, providing the Executive Branch, DOT, Congress, and the public with current expertise to address the safety of automated transportation technologies.


Ensure federal capacity to review, assess, and validate the safety of automated technologies comprehensively across modes while enabling cross-sector collaboration for a holistic approach to the safe integration of automation in transportation.

Who We Are:

We strive to become a well-known and dedicated workforce that reviews, assesses, and validates the safety of highly automated systems. As a Center of Excellence, we work to facilitate and accelerate collaborative multi-modal and international research, innovation and technology deployment of intelligent and connected transportation systems to improve safety, accessibility, mobility, efficiency, security and economic opportunity to ultimately enhance the health and quality of life of all Americans and the world.

What We Do:

We serve as a central place within the USDOT for expertise in automation and human factors, computer sciences, machine learning, sensors, and other technologies involving automated systems. We support all Operating Administrations of the USDOT, and have a workforce composed of DOT employees that audit, inspect and certify highly automated systems to ensure their safety.


Advance the safe and responsible integration of automation across the transportation ecosystem.

HASS-COE Values/Culture:
  • Public Trust and Public Service - We pursue excellence and serve the public interest by ensuring high quality products and timely services
  • Imagination & Innovation – We value new and “out of the box” thinking.
  • Collaboration - We maximize our collective talents through teamwork and partnerships with the automation industry based on mutual trust, respect, support, cooperation, and communication.
  • Passion & Purpose – We have passion for our work and helping others.
  • Data and logic driven – We value data and logic-based approaches, and make use of data systems and technologies, to analyze and identify solutions to solve complex problems.
  • Inclusivity & Fairness – Equity, mobility/accessibility for all stakeholders (including all members of the traveling public, and automotive industry, private and public entities., to advance infrastructure led recovery/economic development.
  • Integrity – We value ethics, fairness, and open and honest communication.
  • Tolerance of risk – We allow team members to feel safe to experiment, and propose new thoughts and ideas, or challenge existing processes. We manage risk and define risk as both opportunities and treats.
  • Respect – We value individual diversity and the unique strengths, skills, expertise, and background of our team members. 
  • Teamwork – We work together toward common goals and help each other.
  • Personal and Professional Development - We nurture the development and use of leadership, technical, and professional skills in all team members.
  • Family – We value work-life balance. We support, care about, listen to, and respond to the needs of team members and their families.