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DOT Announces Vehicle Safety Goals & Initiatives for 2016

Posted on January 16, 2016 in

Federal regulators at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) have recently announced that they will be committed to meeting some important safety milestones in the New Year.

These goals, which are intended to “significantly improve [vehicle] safety, mobility, and sustainability,” have been backed by a nearly $4 billion federal investment, which will be paid over the next decade. And according to the DOT, the goals for 2016 include:

  • Developing guidelines for the safe deployment of self-driving vehicles in the U.S. – Regulators intend to achieve this by July 2016 in order to reflect “the reality that the widespread deployment of fully autonomous vehicles is now feasible.”
  • Developing “a model state policy” for self-driving vehicles – This goal, which regulators also plan to complete by July 2016, is intended to provide “a path to consistent national policy.”
  • Developing “new tools necessary for his new era of vehicle safety and mobility” – These tools are intended to ensure that self-driving vehicles are as safe as (if not more safe than) standard motor vehicles.

Explaining the importance of these goals for 2016, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has noted that:

We are on the cusp of a new era in automotive technology with enormous potential to save lives, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and transform mobility for the American people.

Backing this up, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind explained that:

NHTSA is using all of its available tools to accelerate the deployment of technologies that can eliminate 94 percent of fatal crashes involving human error… We will work with state partners toward creating a consistent national policy on these innovations, provide options now and into the future for manufacturers seeking to deploy autonomous vehicles, and keep our safety mission paramount at every stage.

A Look at Past & Future DOT Safety Initiatives

The DOT’s big plans for 2016 are part of the greater goal to prevent traffic crashes, injuries and deaths on U.S. roadways. As DOT officials have pointed out, working towards this goal in 2015 involved:

  • Identifying the challenges that America’s roads and transportation infrastructure will experience over the next 30 years (based on changing trends in vehicles and driving behaviors)
  • Encouraging municipalities to “implement bold, data-driven ideas that make transportation safer, easier, and more reliable in that city”
  • Advancing the incorporation of V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communication technology in newly produced vehicles.

And, in addition to the vehicle safety initiatives and goals for 2016, over the next 10 years, officials will also reportedly be accelerating “the developing and adoption of safe vehicle automation through real-world pilot projects.”

What do you think about the DOT’s safety goals and initiatives for 2016? Share your opinions with us on Facebook & Google+.

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