U.S. DOT Secretary Talks Transportation Transformation

In her keynote address at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao stated: “These driver-assist technologies are instrumental in automated vehicles—which are among the most exciting, ongoing developments in transportation today. Automated Vehicles will, someday, advance traffic safety as they transform surface transportation.”

She pointed to the release of the joint White House and U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) initiative, “AV 4.0 – Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies.”  

AV 4.0 is a follow-up to NHTSA’s voluntary guidance on the development of Automated Vehicles: “Automated Driving Systems 2.0: A Vision for Safety” introduced in 2017 and the “Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0” introduced in 2018.

AV 4.0 unifies AV efforts across 38 Federal departments, independent agencies, commissions, and Executive Offices of the President. It recognizes the value of private sector leadership in AV research, development, and integration. Such innovation requires appropriate government oversight to ensure safety, open markets, strategic allocation of public resources, and protection of the public interest. Realizing the vast potential of AVs will require collaboration and information sharing among industry partners, state and local governments, academia, non-profits, standards development organizations, and the federal government.

Chao further noted that the “takeaway from AV 4.0 is that the federal government is all in—for safer, better and more inclusive transportation, aided by automated driving systems.”