AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES So to the entrepreneurs and futurists,

please continue to dream big and aim high – but for all of us, it is essential to maintain situational awareness: truly assess the total environment, identify all hazards (including that approaching mountain) and opportu- nities and make the most of what pre-SDC technology and practices are already bring- ing and will continue to offer long before that first driverless vehicle pulls up to our front door, or to the back of the nearest gro- cery store. In the interim, however there must be the ability to both validate and monetize each of the incremental development steps to achieve that goal. Whether ensuring return on the investment of private fund- ing, justifying government expenditure in terms of public trust, or (ideally) doing both through a public-private partnership (PPP/ P3) it is necessary to derive the maximum value along the way.

BODY OF KNOWLEDGE Whether ADAS or full SDC prevail, technol- ogy can help, but technology itself is only the beginning. To aid in getting beyond that pro- cess there now is a large and increasing body of knowledge publicly and freely available. Indeed the latter half of 2016 and early 2017 in many ways saw North America play “catch up” to other regions in the area of AV policy, principally to Europe (i.e., the EU and the UK as I begin to get used to referring to those as separate entities) given their iMobility as well as Vision Zero and other European initiatives initiated during the past decade or so. Indeed in all my 42 years in Washington,

I have never seen any Federal Government agency knuckle down during a transition to get so many loose ends tied up during the just over two month transition from the 44th to the 45th Presidential Administration on 20 January 2017. To a person the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) out- going appointed leadership and Career staff deserve appreciation for this critical effort. Chief among these was the National High-

way Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 392-page Notice of Proposed Rulemaking prospectively requiring vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology on all new light-duty vehicles, enabling a multitude of new crash-avoidance applications that, once

here, it is objectively a most impressive com- pendium of analysis, statistics, predictions and use cases that will I hope be used as a resource for some time to come in anticipat- ing what the US and global transportation ecosystem will evolve into across all modes. Finally in literally the last hours of Anthony

 The former

US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx

“The latter half of 2016 and the early weeks of 2017 in

many ways saw North America play catch up to other regions in the area of AV policy”

fully deployed, could prevent hundreds of thousands of crashes every year by helping vehicles communicate with each other. This after NHTSA had released its seminal Federal Automated Vehicles Policy guidance docu- ment in September. Along with the German Bundesrat declaration on full electric vehicle conversion by 2030 in October it was argu- ably the most significant administrative rule- making action of the year at least in Western countries related to making vehicles com- prehensively smarter, safer and sustainable by being Autonomous Connected, Electric & Shared (ACES). USDOT also formally joined the global

Vision Zero movement started by the Trafikverket, Sweden’s Transport Administra- tion in 1997 through its own towards Zero Deaths initiative. Additionally, just as the 96th Annual

National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine – Transportation Research Board and its 14,000 attendees were winding down here, USDOT released its final Beyond Traffic report. Difficult to even begin to summarize

Foxx’s landmark four-year tenure as Secretary of Transportation came the Vehicle-to-Infra- structure (V2I) Deployment Guidance and resources on the USDOT Intelligent Transpor- tation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS-JPO) website. For any readers who are new to ITS, Telematics, or Connected & Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) – hint CAV is a convergence of the first two much older ecosystems – as well as those who are old hands, this resource page has something everyone can use. Never to be outdone, in September the

Canadian Parliament commensurately stood up its own impressive online resource library: Automated and Connected Vehicles: Status of the Technology and Key Policy Issues for Cana- dian Governments/Véhicules autonomes et connectés : état d’avancement de la technologie et principaux enjeux stratégiques pour les pou- voirs publics au Canada. So, by almost any metric the tide, as many

of us have predicted in recent years, has indeed risen. The floodgates for change are open, and I predict that 2017 will long be remembered as the era when the rubber met the road (quite literally) and the years of R&D, pilots and beta tests fully gave way to both industry and government getting CAV-SDC-ADAS-ACES to the front doors of the public in ways that will save lives, real- ize value for public expense, and also make money along the way.

David Pickeral, JD, has 29 years of leadership experience in both public and private sector related to realizing the potential of information and communications technology (ICT) to enhance transportation effectiveness, efficiency, accessibility, sustainability, intermodality and safety from the local to the global level. He is currently focused on Autonomous Connected Electric & Shared (ACES) vehicles, as well as Smart City mobility initiatives.


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