Autonomous Vehicles Meet Human Drivers: Traffic Safety Issues for States
This report provides background information on the current state of autonomous vehicle technologies, and offers strategies that state Departments of Transportation (DOTs), Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs), and State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) can use to best prepare to manage roadway assets as autonomous vehicles rise in popularity. It begins with a description of the various levels of autonomous vehicles, a summary of what’s on the road now and what’s coming soon, results from surveys of public knowledge and attitudes regarding autonomous vehicles, and projections of autonomous vehicle sales and use. Next, it describes the key topics that states must address to manage traffic safety in a world with both driver-operated and autonomous vehicles. The report then summarizes what some states already have done to address autonomous vehicles. Finally, the report suggests what all states can and should do to prepare for autonomous vehicles and to assure that traffic safety is at the forefront of all autonomous vehicle discussions.