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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

USDOT outlines automated vehicle policy

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said autonomous vehicles will have a "tremendous impact on society in terms of safety, mobility, and security."
Photo – U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation


U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao earlier this week shared details about the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) forthcoming policy for automated vehicles.

The policy will emphasize a unified, intermodal approach to automated driving systems policy, USDOT officials said in a press release.

In addition, the new policy will be designed to enable the safe integration of surface automated transportation systems, including light-rail lines and port operations.

The USDOT has published several automated vehicle notices for public comment on its website and submitted them to the Federal Register. The department seeks public input from across the transportation industry to "identify barriers to innovation" and to shape initiatives, USDOT officials said.

"Autonomous vehicle technologies will have a tremendous impact on society in terms of safety, mobility, and security," Chao said. "Getting input from the public will help identify which departmental regulations need to be updated and changed to encourage innovation."

To learn more about the potential impacts of automated trucks on the rail industry, read this feature from Progressive Railroading's January issue.