Washington DC – Today, the Eno Center for Transportation released Beyond Speculation: Automated Vehicles and Public Policy. The report provides a much-needed set of recommendations that address the many policy issues that face automated vehicles.

Automated vehicle (AV) technology will completely change how we travel, ship goods, and on a larger scale, how we think about mobility. Unfortunately, these private-sector initiatives are far outpacing governments’ response and preparations for it. Some policymakers are beginning to craft rules and investments that encourage innovation while still protecting the public interest. However their efforts are leading to a troublesome patchwork of policies and regulations.

“This report provides a detailed, robust, and necessary roadmap for federal, state, and local governments to follow,” said Robert Puentes, President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation. “It addresses the most pressing issues for automated vehicles and will help guide the technology towards safe, efficient, and sustainable deployment.”

Eno’s report provides eighteen specific recommendations aimed at critical issues like cybersecurity and privacy. It addresses liability concerns in the case of a crash as well as a range of environmental, research and infrastructure funding questions that need attention before AVs can become a reality.

Specifically, Eno recommends that the federal government, not individual states, be responsible for approving AVs and AV technology. They should also explicitly require the AV industry to protect the privacy of vehicle owners and the data generated from the systems.

The report calls on Congress to develop a per-mile charge system to raise money to improve the safety and reliability of AVs. States would be responsible for deciding how the funds should be spent and should target it to so-called “state-of-good-repair” projects, not new highways.

Eno also finds that AVs have the potential to disrupt the transportation workforce—especially imperiling the 4 million people employed as truck, bus, taxi, and delivery drivers. Therefore, policymakers need to move to implement retraining and career development programs to offset the negative aspects of automation even as it leads to the creation of new industries and occupations.

The entire set of recommendations and full report can be viewed here: tinyurl.com/EnoAV


About the Eno Center for Transportation

 The Eno Center for Transportation is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that promotes policy innovation and leads professional development in the transportation industry. As part of its mission, Eno seeks continuous improvement in transportation and its public and private leadership in order to improve the system’s mobility, safety, and sustainability.

Eno’s Digital Cities project is a multi-part research and outreach effort intended to provide a resource for policymakers to understand the technological forces that are shaping our transportation networks.

Alexander Laska