The Department of Transportation announced that it is releasing a 15-point Safety Assessment to help govern the “safe design, development, testing and deployment of automated vehicles,” according to Forbes. The guidelines from the DOT will outline the responsibilities of both the federal and state governments so that there is a more uniform policy surrounding the manufacturing and use of automated cars. Organizations that are already developing automated cars – such as Ford, Tesla, Google and Uber – must take such regulations into account when manufacturing the vehicles. Jeremy Carlson, automotive technology analyst for IHS technology, talked about what the regulations will mean for the industry:
“Prior to this announcement my question was: Are they going to continue to let states, as is often the case, act as the laboratories and then put together a national framework to bring it all together?” he said. “It looks like they’re being a bit more assertive, and that’s probably a good thing.”
Younger generations driving the new technology
The millennial generation in the U.S. has already seen a wealth of technological innovations. And as that demographic slowly turns into the majority, more Americans will continue to trust technology. According to research conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, about 56 percent of motorists who were born between 1975 and 1994 trust self-driving technology. Roughly 55 percent of drivers born between 1995 and 2000 maintain that they trust automated vehicles as well. Kristin Kolodge, J.D. Power’s Executive Director of Interaction and Health Management Innovation Research, believes that such trust is essential for the technology to succeed:
“The level of trust is directly linked to the level of interest in a new technology among automobile buyers,” she said. “Acceptance can be increased with exposure over time and experience with automated technologies. But trust is fragile and can be broken if there is an excessive number of incidents with automated vehicles.”
Between the 15-point Safety Assessment and willingness of younger generations to trust technology, it’s a short matter of time before we see self-driving cars on the streets.