The USDOT Unveiled Self-Driving Policy at CES 2020

Overview U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced automated vehicle 4.0 policy at CES 2020 during the U.S. Department of Transportation Keynote.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao reminded the CES 2020 audience during her keynote presentation about how, in the 17th and 18th centuries, advancements in seaports and river navigation redefined commerce; in the 19th century, steam-engine powered boats opened up the western frontier; and during the 20th century, transportation not only advanced to include interstate highways, but also moved to air and space.

“The need and quest for more, better, safer transportation technologies never stops,” she said. “In fact, the histories of innovation and transportation are intertwined.”

Chao highlighted how in the past few years, car technologies have continued to evolve to include blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings and automatic breaking systems, technologies that are vital to automated vehicles.

“Automated vehicles will someday advance traffic safety as they transform surface transportation,” she said. “[They] have the potential to save thousands of lives annually.”

We see here at CES, and on America’s roads and in our skies, such exciting transportation advancements. We are preparing for the transportation systems of the future.

Elaine L. Chao
U.S Secretary of Transportation

Automated Vehicles 4.0

Chao announced the release of Automated Vehicles (AV) 4.0, updated guidelines on the development of automated vehicles. AV 4.0, titled “Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies,” offers guidance to state and local government agencies’ technology experts and more on the development and integration of automated vehicles.

“The main takeaway of AV 4.0 is that the federal government is all in for safer, better and more inclusive transportation aided by automated driving systems,” Chao said.

The three core principles of AV 4.0 are:

  • Prioritizing the safety and security of users and communities.

  • Promoting efficient markets and innovations.

  • Ensuring a consistent regulatory approach.

Chao outlined how automated vehicle  technology can help traffic congestion and improve mobility and accessibility options for those with mobility challenges.


Rolling Forward

Chao also noted that the Department of Transportation (DOT) recently announced a notice of proposed rulemaking for remote identification of drones, which applies to all drones over half a pound.

“Remote IDs will enhance safety and security,” she said. “This technology will lay the foundation for the safe deployment of more complex drone operations.”

She concluded her keynote by speaking about space transportation, from rockets and air-launch systems to other private-sector projects, highlighting that today, the U.S. is the first in commercial space launches.

The DOT is working to streamline launch and re-entry licensing processes to further advance growth in the commercial space sector as well. Outdated space launch procedures will be overhauled.

“They’re even thinking about using commercial space travel launches to go from the western hemisphere to the eastern hemisphere in a few minutes.”

“We see here at CES, and on America’s roads and in our skies, such exciting transportation advancements,” Chao said. “We are preparing for the transportation systems of the future.”


Watch the full U.S. Department of Transportation Keynote, also featuring Michael Kratsios, U.S. chief technology officer.

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