Automated Vehicles (AVs) represent an emerging technology that already provides consumer benefits in terms of vehicle safety. It is important for fire chiefs and staff to stay up-to-date, as growth and changes in this technology and the regulations and standards that govern it will affect operations. this page summarizes the key material to provide an overview of the key information and links to further details of:
- us department of transportation
- national highway safety administration
- manufacturers (specific for safety and emergency response)
how is the usa? dot readiness for autonomous vehicles?
united states department of transportation autonomous vehicle strategy 3.0 (dot) the iafc recommends that fire chiefs review the united states strategy. dot av 3.0 as an important starting point for understanding how autonomous vehicles (avs) will evolve and impact your daily operations. Released in October 2018, AV 3.0 provides a comprehensive overview of the regulatory environment governing autonomous vehicles and identifies the us. uu. dot’s priorities as they approach this emerging technology.
The department’s strategy outlines the following priorities, which encompass all modes of road transportation systems:
- advance multimodal security
- reduce political uncertainty
- outline a process for working with the us. uu. dot
united states dot strongly believes that av 3.0 is the beginning of a new “national discussion” about our next highway surface transportation system.
login to the us department of transportation strategy av 3.0
login to the us department of transport strategy av 4.0 (pdf)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines the levels of automation in a vehicle, what the driver is capable of doing, and how much human operation is required using the Society of Automotive Engineers Levels of Automation ( sae):
- level 0: no automation zero autonomy, the driver performs all tasks.
- level 1: driver assistance vehicle it is led by the driver; however, some driver assistance functions are included in the model.
- Level 2: Partial Automation The driver must maintain control of the vehicle and its steering, although there are available combined automated functions such as throttle and steering.
- level 3: conditional automation controller is required but not required. the driver must be prepared to steer the vehicle at any time.
- level 4: high automation the vehicle can fulfill all driving functions under certain circumstances. the driver may have the option to steer the vehicle.
- level 5: full automation the vehicle can perform all driving tasks. the driver may have the option to steer the vehicle.
the future of automated vehicles
Automated Vehicles for NHTSA Safety Over the next several years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will issue waivers and rules that define how AVs impact your area. The IAFC recommends that all fire and emergency service leaders review how NHTSA is implementing the AV 3.0 strategy.
learn more about how the nhtsa is using its waiver authority and moving closer to safety standards and regulation av: nhtsa automated vehicles for safety.
five eras of 21st century vehicle safety have already experienced the benefits of automated safety features. today’s vehicles can prevent a driver from accidentally drifting into adjacent lanes or making unsafe lane changes. some vehicles can talk to each other or brake automatically when they approach another vehicle too quickly.
nhtsa refers to the five safety eras when addressing vehicle safety in the 21st century:
- 1950-2000: safety/convenience features (for example, cruise control, seat belts, anti-lock brakes)
- 2000-2010 : advanced safety features (eg electronic stability, blind spot detection, forward collision warning, ground departure warning)
- 2010-2016: advanced driver assistance features (e.g., video rearview systems; automatic, automatic pedestrian, and automatic rear braking; red cross traffic alert; lane center assist)
- 2016- 2025: Partially automated safety features (eg, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist, automatic parking)
- 2025 and beyond: fully automated safety features (eg autopilot on road)
Through six levels of driver assistance technology advancements, automated driving will become a reality. a self-driving car reality is projected to have many benefits:
safety 94% of accidents are due to human error. automated vehicles have the potential to remove human error from an accident scenario, which will help protect drivers and save lives.
economic and social benefits By eliminating the majority of car accidents, automated vehicles are expected to greatly reduce expenses, including:
- $242 billion in economic activity
- $57.6 billion in lost workplace productivity
- $594 billion caused by loss of life
Efficiency and Convenience Americans spent an estimated 6.9 billion hours in traffic delays in 2014, reducing important things like time at work or with family, increasing fuel costs, and increasing vehicle emissions. automated vehicles would reduce this cost by stifling the flow of traffic.
mobility in many parts of the us. In the US, the employment and ability of the elderly or disabled to live independently is subject to the ability to drive. automated vehicles can help address these issues. It is also suggested that automated vehicles could create employment opportunities for almost 2 million people with disabilities, creating jobs to help a specific community.
testing the safety of automated vehicles
Manufacturer documents detail how an automated vehicle works and where the various parts are located within the vehicle. Open industry sharing of information allows first responders to become familiar with autonomous vehicles, helping to tailor operations for response involving AVS.
iafc encourages first responders and the public to learn more about the safety of automated vehicles from their manufacturers.
waymo waymo has published the chrysler pacifica fully autonomous waymo emergency response guide and law enforcement interaction protocol (pdf), designed specifically to educate the emergency response community of emergency.
waymo’s safety briefing and first aid briefing explain their processes for testing av technology to make the vehicle safe. the report addresses functional, crash, operational, and behavioral non-collision safety. waymo says they go through a multi-step testing and validation process with their automated vehicles. The company reports having a sequence of how they approach security, including creating verifiable software and systems, encrypting and verifying communication channels, creating redundant security measures, limiting communication between critical systems, provision of timely software updates and threat modeling and prioritization.
general motors general motors autonomous driving safety report 2018 (pdf) is an informative safety report designed for public consumption.
brandon allen, iafc government relations manager
ken lasala, director, policy and government relations