AV Research Synthesis

Click link to download AV report: Staying in Control-Bridging the Gaps in Autonomous Vehicle Safety – TRA – Sept 2016

Transportation Resource Associates (TRA) recently published a study on the safety of autonomous vehicles, and found significant pieces missing from the nation’s safety framework for self-driving vehicles.

The study, Staying in Control: Bridging the Gaps in Autonomous Vehicle Safety, examined the current state of autonomous vehicle deployment and existing safety regulations throughout the United States. As of last month, only five states, plus the District of Columbia, passed safety requirements for self-driving vehicles. Even as states do propose or enact new rules, the patchwork of varying requirements among states may hinder the technology’s progress and legal use across state lines.

These gaps remain despite vehicles with self-driving features already operating on public roads. Recent incidents and Internet videos have raised questions about consumers’ awareness of the technology’s current limits. In a notable May 2016 accident, a man died when his car in autonomous mode failed to stop for a tractor trailer that turned in front of him.

This study also notes many related areas needing attention, such as public accident investigations, driver training/licensing, automobile safety standards, and enhancements to safety mechanisms. The study presents useful lessons from past automobile enhancements and relevant safety practices in other transportation modes to ensure the safe use of autonomous vehicles.

TRA AV Report Articles: