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Automated vehicles and DOT efforts addressed in Congressional Report

GAO calls for a comprehensive DOT automated vehicle plan

Posted December 6, 2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) readiness to address automated vehicles is examined in a recent report to Congress by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO).

GAO recommends that DOT develop a comprehensive plan for its initiatives related to automated vehicles. The Department agreed with GAO’s suggestion.

GAO’s observations

GAO stated it is too soon to know if DOT’s “A Vision for Safety” will meet the challenges associated with this rapidly emerging technology. It believes the Department will likely continue to face emerging safety and infrastructure challenges. As a result, DOT should develop a comprehensive automated vehicle plan.

Such a plan could help DOT make decisions about whether and how to respond to different automated vehicle technology challenges as they arise. GAO states, “Without a comprehensive plan, DOT may miss the opportunity to organize, prioritize, and clearly monitor the progress of its many efforts across NHTSA, FHWA, and the Office of the Secretary, and other administrations as appropriate.”

Methodology behind GAO’s report

The GAO report — required by recent legislation — reviewed selected literature and interviewed 27 selected stakeholders.

A wide-range of perspectives and expertise were included in the choice of stakeholders. State transportation officials, academic experts, and industry representatives were included in the study to aid in identifying policy challenges and views on DOT’s efforts. GAO also reviewed DOT’s policy and program documentation and interviewed agency officials.

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