Inside Unmanned Systems

OCT-NOV 2017

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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73 unmanned systems inside October/November 2017 ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. Autonomous vehicle technology will have to be scrutinized by insurance companies, Ammons said. "What if a component fails, causing a collision? This is more between us [insurance companies] to figure out," he said. "It's a chicken-before-the-egg scenario." The Last Word: Nothing Happens without Government Involvement The U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) recently released its Federal Automated Vehicle Policy, which details safety and regu- latory requirements for self-driving technology testing and implementation. The much-anticipated policy uses a 15-point safety assessment to set expectations for au- tonomous vehicle researchers and manufac- turers. The safety assessment asks automakers to opt-in when testing and evaluating self- driving cars to share data. "During track and road testing, actual hard- ware must be validated—that's a lot of ground to cover. Data sharing is an important ele- ment," said Chris Gerdes, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief innovation officer. "We believe this is the first step in a long process to get autonomous vehicles on the road. We want to engage the research commu- nity to move forward." A lthough the DOT, w ith the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), has offered rules for autonomous vehicle testing, state governments continue to present patchwork rules to regulate testing on their public roads. At the recent TU-Automotive Detroit meeting in Novi, Michigan, transportation officials pre- sented their opinions on how their states regulate self-driving and autonomous vehicle testing. "We have defended the federal role, as a state government, and it's going to be a federal preemption role [in enforcing autonomous ve- hicle regulation]. On the f lip side, states have the authority [to regulate] insurance and driver's licenses," said Kirk Steudle, Michigan Department of Transportation director. "That is dicey is when a vehicle operates on a state road—and it f lips into a testing mode. That should still be a state-by-state prerogative— what they feel comfortable with on the road." While some states say they are looking at what other states are doing, others have plowed ahead. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state would allow applications from companies seeking to test autonomous vehicles on public highways as part of a year-long pilot program. The pilot program is included in New York's fiscal year 2018 budget. Manufacturer re- quirements include obtaining a $5 million in- surance policy and complying with state and federal safety standards. The testing doesn't call for fully unmanned vehicles as a person holding a valid driver's license must be seated in the car operating on public highways. French automotive supplier Valeo has launched a global research center in artificial intelligence and deep learning dedicated to autonomous driving and other automotive applications.

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