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January 19, 2016: USDOT Begins Pilot Program for Self-Driving Cars

The Future of Self-Driving Cars

On January 19, 2016, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, communicated that the Department of Transportation (DOT) would “embark on several pilot programs to accelerate the development of autonomous, self-driving vehicles.” Foxx’s announcement, made at the North American Auto Show in Detroit, also included his intention to work with members of the vehicle industry to create new safety standards for the new technology. This announcement symbolized the beginning of a $4 million project pushed by the Obama administration to facilitate the advancement of safe vehicle automation.
“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,” said Secretary Foxx. “Today’s actions and those we will pursue in the coming months will provide the foundation and the path forward for manufacturers, state officials, and consumers to use new technologies and achieve their full safety potential.”

Self-Driving Cars May Nearly “Eliminate” Fatal Human-Error Car Crashes

Mark Rosekind, administrator of The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on the subject of self-driving cars, stated, “NHTSA is using all of its available tools to accelerate the deployment of technologies that can eliminate 94% of fatal crashes involving human error.” Rosekind further explained the role of his administration: “We will work with state partners towards 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.”


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