On December 1, NSPE and the California Society of Professional Engineers (CSPE) submitted a letter to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (CDMV), which has been charged with creating the first state-level regulations for fully autonomous vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has yet to issue regulations for fully autonomous vehicles. Therefore, these regulations, which were due nearly a year ago from the CDMV, will be the first in the nation.
NSPE and CSPE urge CDMV, in its development of regulations related to fully autonomous vehicles and their associated systems, to work to ensure that the policies recognize and incorporate the key role of licensed professional engineers in the development of autonomous vehicles and their associated systems. Professional engineers already play a key role in the protection of the public health, safety and welfare of the traveling public using the nation’s infrastructure through state-based regulations. The design, development and deployment of autonomous vehicles and their support systems should not be treated any differently and should require the involvement of professional engineers to give the highest level of assurance for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare.