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9 companies, 8 states will be first for U.S. DoT automated vehicle testing

Government agency sees initiative as way to coordinate and share information


Nine companies — some familiar names, others not so much — and eight states have signed on as the first participants in a new U.S. Department of Transportation initiative to improve the safety and testing transparency of automated driving systems, Sec. of Transportation Elaine Chao announced June 15.

The program is the Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing — or AV TEST in government speak — Initiative. 

Participating companies are Beep, Cruise, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Local Motors, Navya, Nuro, Toyota, Uber, and Waymo. Tests will be conducted in California, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah.

“Through this initiative, the department is creating a formal platform for federal, state and local government to coordinate and share information in a standard way,” Chao said.

“The AV TEST Initiative will include a series of public events across the country to improve transparency and safety in the development and testing of automated driving systems,” the DoT said.

“Participants can share information about their activities, which will help increase the public’s awareness of testing, centralize the department’s role in promoting safety and innovation, and build stronger relationships among federal, state and local governments and stakeholders. 

“Additionally, this voluntary initiative will provide an online, public-facing platform for sharing automated driving systems testing activities and other safety-related information with the public. Online mapping tools may show testing locations at the local, state, and national levels, as well as testing activity data, which may include dates, frequency, vehicle counts, and routes.”

Automated driving system technologies hold the promise to help prevent fatal crashes, save lives, and reduce the severity of the crashes that do occur,” said NHTSA deputy administrator James Owens. 

For more information, see the U.S. DoT website.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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