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Automated Driving Technology Standards Needed

By: Anapol Weiss

With the number of automated driving technologies on the rise, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has sought input regarding the development of guidelines for the safe deployment and operation of these technologies. The request comes at a critical juncture as millions of cars and trucks manufactured with automatic braking controls, obstacle detection and wheel slip assistance are already on the road.

As a national leader in product liability and crashworthiness issues, Anapol Weiss Shareholder Larry Coben is uniquely equipped to offer insights on the steps the NHTSA should take to ensure the safety of the motoring public.

In a letter to the organization, Coben argues that the NHTSA must issue minimum performance standards for these technologies instead of guidelines. He writes, “Because the issuance of ‘guidelines’ may not have the same imprimatur as ‘standards’, the NHTSA may find its hands tied when a ‘guideline’ is not met.”

Coben also issues concern about how an automaker may choose to use proposed guidelines as a shield against possible common law liability in the event that an AV system leads to serious injury or death.

Moreover, Coben addressed specific questions raised by the NHTSA including the evaluation and testing of AV system scenarios, crash avoidance capability and the operation of an AV system with an open safety recall. To read his recommendations to the Agency in their entirety, please click the download button.