The US Department of Transportation has released its latest set of voluntary guidelines for automated driving systems, a report that builds on previous versions released over the past two years. With Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0, the DOT outlines additional safety principles, updates policy and offers guidance to state and local governments. "The integration of automation across our transportation system has the potential to increase productivity and facilitate freight movement," said DOT Secretary Elaine Chao. "But most importantly, automation has the potential to impact safety significantly -- by reducing crashes caused by human error, including crashes involving impaired or distracted drivers, and saving lives. The report notes that it's meant to be an update to, but not a replacement of, last year's guidance, and it encourages those developing automated driving systems to make public their Voluntary Safety Self-Assessments, which were introduced in last year's report.
We've already heard about Google's somewhat controversial autonomous vehicle test program which began two years ago using Toyota Prii and other vehicles. It appears now that yet another hybrid has been added to the driverless vehicle list. Said hybrid is a cousin to the Prius, the Lexus RX450h, and it was reportedly spotted traveling along a Southern California Freeway with the autonomous testing gear mounted atop its roof. The sighting comes just days after the California Senate passed Bill 1298, which enables the California Highway Patrol to set standards and performance requirements relating to autonomous vehicle testing. The picture also indicates the testing apparatus has been somewhat modified since earlier tests.
Almost half of Americans say they would never buy a fully self driving car, a new survey has found. The huge blow to the industry comes after rocky trials that have seen multiple accidents, including a self-driving Uber vehicle that killed a pedestrian in the first death involving a fully autonomous test vehicle in March. The Cox Automotive Evolution of Mobility Study found that consumer awareness of driverless vehicles has skyrocketed - but that people still want to be able to drive themselves. The research found 84 per cent want to have the option to drive themselves even in a self-driving vehicle, compared to 16 per cent who would feel comfortable letting an autonomous vehicle drive them without the option of being able to take control. It also found 84 per cent want to have the option to drive themselves even in a self-driving vehicle, compared to 16 per cent who would feel comfortable letting an autonomous vehicle drive them without the option of being able to take control.