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Government Accountability Office, Automated Vehicles: Comprehensive Plan Could Help DOT Address Challenges (GAO-18-132) (Nov. 30, 2017) (full-text).


Automated vehicles potentially promise transformative benefits in safety, mobility, and other areas. However, the successful development of these vehicles and technologies may pose a range of challenges for policymakers to confront. DOT is the lead federal agency for vehicle safety and road infrastructure.

Recent legislation included a provision for the GAO to review automated vehicle policy and DOT's readiness to address challenges. This report addresses: (1) what selected stakeholders and literature identify as potential safety and infrastructure challenges automated vehicles pose for policymakers and (2) DOT's efforts in response to these challenges. The GAO judgmentally selected three stakeholders — including state transportation officials, academic experts, and industry representatives — to obtain a wide-range of perspectives and expertise. The results are non-generalizable. The GAO compared DOT's efforts with leading planning principles identified in prior GAO work and federal internal control standards.

The GAO recommends that DOT develop a comprehensive plan to better manage departmental initiatives related to automated vehicles.