Frequently Asked Questions about Automated Vehicles

1. When will automated vehicles be on sale?

Driver assists and partial driving automation, or Levels 1 and 2, are available today, including lane centering, adaptive cruise control, highway assist, park assist, and traffic jam assist. Some manufacturers have announced that they are close to introducing Level 3 automated vehicles. Many automakers have announced plans to market Level 4 and 5 vehicles on the road within several years.

2. Many related issues are not resolved yet.

How will concerns about liability and ethics be handled? Will driver’s licenses still be needed in the future? Many policy questions will need to be addressed as higher-level automated vehicles are sold to the public or are otherwise introduced into commercial use. Existing liability laws are able to resolve situations involving an AV.

3. What are automakers doing about cybersecurity?

Automakers have anticipated and prepared for an increasingly interconnected future. Auto engineers are incorporating security solutions into vehicles from the first stages of design and production, and their security testing never stops. To help stay ahead of cyber threats, automakers established an Information Sharing and Analysis Center. And, automakers have long engaged with third-party security technologists, non-profit organizations, universities and the government to share solutions, seek fresh approaches and monitor new developments.

4. What are automakers doing to protect privacy?

Customer’s personal information should be protected. With that in mind, in 2014 automakers developed a set of Privacy Principles building on the Fair Information Practice Principles, Federal Trade Commission guidance, the White House Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights and the guidance of privacy advocates. These Privacy Principles outline what data is collected, how it is used, and when/why data is shared through vehicle owner’s manuals, privacy statements, and terms of use.

5. What can government do to support automated driving systems?

Automated vehicles hold promise to transform mobility as we know it. Automakers want to move as quickly as possible to safely test and deploy automated vehicles. Auto Innovators supports policy initiatives that facilitate innovation and remove obstacles to the safe testing and deployment of highly automated vehicles and streamline legislative and regulatory activity to support the global manufacturing process. Auto Innovators supports NHTSA’s assessment of the roles of federal and state authorities. As described in NHTSA’s AV guidance, the oversight of system safety design, performance and certification is most appropriately carried out at the federal level, while states should continue their traditional role of handling vehicle registration, licensing and insurance issues. Auto Innovators recommends that states wishing to act in this area first consider whether existing law or regulations pose unreasonable impediments to the testing or deployment of automated vehicles and then seek to remove such impediments. Maintaining consistency across state and municipal lines is also a priority.

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