autonomous vehicles (Ico Maker/


Paving the road for autonomous vehicles

What: “State Public and Autonomous Vehicle Technology: Recommended Actions for Governors," an issue paper from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices

Why: Although 30 states and Washington, D.C., have experimented with AVs in some form,  successful deployments will require governors and state and local leaders to balance innovation and public safety, collect and share data and create a flexible regulatory and policy environment that encourages the technology to advance.

Findings: AV technology offers several benefits, including improving mobility for seniors and people with disabilities and reducing traffic congestion and the number of accidents.  However, the still-developing technology poses challenges when it comes to ensuring driver and pedestrian safety and regulating the technology before it is fully mature.

Other challenges states must address include how the loss of revenue from speeding violations, red-light cameras and drivers licenses will affect transportation system support, changes to land use planning related to new parking behaviors, required investments in smarter infrastructure, cybersecurity and legal vulnerabilities and additional training for law enforcement.

To prepare for the adoption and testing of AV technology, governors should take the following actions:

  • Designate a lead agency to oversee AV testing and deployment.
  • Create an interagency working group to create a framework that keeps pace with the technology and balances innovation with public safety.
  • Collaborate with local and federal agencies and policymakers.
  • Facilitate an environment for AV testing and deployment.
  • Retain oversight and maintain regulatory authority over testing.
  • Coordinate with law enforcement for testing and deployment.
  • Establish a comprehensive training program for law enforcement.
  • Consider public private partnerships between autonomous vehicle operators and regulators.

Read the full report here.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.


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