The federal government has announced major new initiatives toward automated vehicle development and safety, a top NSPE policy priority.
President Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal includes a 10-year, almost $4 billion investment in pilot projects for the development and adoption of safe vehicle automation. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has updated its policy guidance, including commitments to work with industry and other stakeholders to develop best-practice guidance on the safe deployment and operation of fully autonomous vehicles and develop a model state policy that offers a path to a consistent national policy—both within six months.
NSPE has taken on the issue of autonomous vehicle safety and the professional engineer’s role as part of its “Grand Challenge” to highlight the importance of PEs in protecting the public. For example, the Society’s Committee on Policy and Advocacy is drafting a policy statement on the appropriate role of PEs in the development of autonomous vehicles and related infrastructure. And on December 1, NSPE and the California Society of Professional Engineers submitted a joint letter on the need for PE involvement to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, which has been charged with creating the first state-level regulations for fully autonomous vehicles.
Read more about the issue and NSPE’s work in the PE magazine cover feature.