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Speeches and Presentations

AV 3.0 Remarks

NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi R. King

Thursday, October 04, 2018 |

Thank you, Derek. It is an honor to be here.

I’d like to thank Secretary Chao for her leadership in prioritizing safety across the transportation system, and for the path she is creating for the safe testing and development of advanced technologies.

Across the Department of Transportation, our top priority is safety. We promote safety, while remaining in step with changing technology.

The present

Today, we begin to travel a path for our future work together across the modes of transportation in “Preparing for the Future of Transportation.” 

Already on our roadways today, some manufacturers sell vehicles with advanced technologies such as automatic emergency braking and lane keeping. 

These are not self-driving technologies; they require the driver to be engaged and responsible for vehicle operation at all times. 

But they represent an important step in the ongoing evolution of transportation technology.  

Consumers are buying and gaining experience with new technologies in personal transportation.

Preparing for the future of transportation

Now, we are laying out another critical section of the path forward, continuing our work together as technology promises to transform the surface transportation system. 
Preparing for the Future of Transportation” reinforces 2.0 guidance, highlighting and providing further details in several key areas.

It expands the advanced technology dialogue to include all of the modes of the surface transportation system.

It provides new guidance to the States to consider training and licensing for test drivers.

And it provides new guidance for testing entities to consider driver engagement methods during testing.

Builds upon existing programs

This guidance builds upon our existing rigorous safety programs. All vehicle and vehicle equipment manufacturers continue to be subject to DOT’s safety regulatory oversight.  

Federal motor vehicle safety standards apply to motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment; including self-driving vehicle software.  

And, of course, DOT and NHTSA continue to be vigilant and will not hesitate to act when safety defects exist, including those involving advanced technologies.  Any motor vehicle or vehicle equipment continues to be subject to recall if a safety defect exists that poses an unreasonable safety risk.

While our existing programs apply to all motor vehicles and equipment, we know we can do more to facilitate the safe testing of advanced technologies.


Today, we are also pleased to announce an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, “Pilot Program for Collaborative Research.”

NHTSA is seeking public comments – from stakeholders, companies, researchers, road users, safety advocates, and others – on creating a national pilot research program to facilitate the safe testing and deployment of vehicles equipped with automated driving systems.

NHTSA expects to learn more about the progress of Automated Driving System testing, and the ways in which the Agency can facilitate safe and efficient testing and deployment for the benefit of individual consumers and the traveling public as a whole.

The program would preserve the freedom to innovate by allowing alternative designs during research.

This collaboration between industry and the Federal government could aid the research and development of safety standards for advanced vehicle safety technologies.


During this exciting time, while the developers and manufacturers are testing new equipment and systems that one day might be a part of a self-driving transportation evolution - or revolution - we continue to assure safety with existing programs while building out an approach to safe testing across the surface transportation system. 

Together, we are preparing for the future of transportation.