The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) recently issued federal policy for the regulation of self-driving vehicles. The department touted the plan for its efforts to create a path toward innovation that also raises the level of safety of these vehicles.

The DOT believes that autonomous technology has the potential to significantly improve safety on U.S. roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 94 percent of auto accidents are caused by human behaviors and errors. Self-driving vehicles could prevent a significant number of auto accidents and save lives.

In an effort to harness the benefits of this new technology in a safe way, the Federal Automated Vehicle Policy focuses on four key areas.

It mandates a 15 Point Safety Assessment, which identifies clear expectations for manufacturers focused on the safe design, development, testing and deployment of automated vehicles.

The policy outlines how current NHTSA regulations can be interpreted for automated vehicle technology. The goal is to facilitate safe and timely testing and development of autonomous vehicle technologies.

It also identifies new regulatory tools and statutes that policy makers should consider for developing regulations that aide in the safe and efficient deployment of these advanced technologies.

Lastly, the policy creates a clear distinction between federal and state responsibilities in regulating autonomous vehicles. It provides guidance for states to develop their own policies while aiming to create consistency across the nation.

Maryland Lawmakers Working Toward Regulations

Nationwide, eight states and Washington, D.C. have laws regulating autonomous vehicles. Maryland is not currently one of them, but state lawmakers are moving forward with plans to develop state regulations.

Self-driving car technology is growing quickly, and Maryland officials are working to establish regulations focused on safety. A committee composed of local and state law enforcement officials and private industry representatives recently met to discuss the state’s plans to issue automated vehicle regulations.

Although the U.S. DOT has issued federal regulations surrounding such technology, state officials have expressed their concerns regarding the infrastructure of self-driving vehicles as well as liability and hacking issues.

Until the time that automated cars are the only vehicles on the roads, accidents will continue to happen. If you or someone you love is injured, our Silver Spring car accident lawyers can help you determine your legal options and fight for the compensation you deserve.