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Implications of Connected and Automated Driving Systems, Vol. 1: Legal Landscape (2018)

Chapter: Section 6: Wrap-Up and Initial Conclusions

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Page 103
Suggested Citation:"Section 6: Wrap-Up and Initial Conclusions." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Implications of Connected and Automated Driving Systems, Vol. 1: Legal Landscape. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25296.
Page 103

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NCHRP Web-Only Document 253, Vol. 1: Legal Landscape 103 Section 6: Wrap-Up and Initial Conclusions The review of legislation throughout the U.S. and internationally has shown that, from a law and regulation perspective, we are entering the nascent beginnings of legislating for C/AVs/HAVs. Within the U.S., only 10 states have thus far have passed laws and developed and/or implemented regulations through their respective transportation/driver licensing agencies or enacted formal study groups tasked with preparing reports to the legislatures. Lawyers, law faculty, and law journal articles are beginning to parse out specific elements within law that may require revision. These have primarily focused on torts liability, and on privacy, cyber security, and some elements of constitutional protections regarding illegal search and seizure. At the federal level, no new laws have yet passed out of Congress regarding C/AVs/HAVs. However, Congress has introduced legislation regarding issues related to the introduction of C/AVs/HAVs, such as privacy. It is expected that further bills will be filed in the 115th Congress. NHTSA released updated policies in 2016 regarding C/AVs/HAVs and cyber security, and is expected to continue issuing regulations within this area. In addition, the FTC and FCC will continue to regulate in the areas of consumer protection and communications. What we did find was that law journal articles have yet to discuss • amendments to motor vehicle codes, • terminology that is obsolete/obsolescent, or • driver/motor vehicle code laws that may need revisions. It should be noted, however, that the paucity of scholarly articles is not indicative that no activities are occurring, as the ULC, AAMVA, and the NCSL are tracking state laws within this area, and have committees dedicated to reviewing laws and making recommendations for uniform laws. In addition, states are developing laws and regulations, and responding to private sector activities, as are with quite a few notable local jurisdictions, including Boston, and Pittsburgh. A final conclusion within the arena of C/AVs/HAVs is that this area is constantly evolving, and that as new technologies and issues arise, federal and state governments will continue to develop associated laws, regulations, policies and executive orders.

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TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Web-Only Document 253: Implications of Connected and Automated Driving Systems, Vol. 1: Legal Landscape explores federal, state, and international legal activities and practices regarding Connected and Automated Vehicles and Highly Automated Vehicles (C/AV/HAVs):

  • Section 1 reviews United States federal activities within the sphere of regulating C/AV/HAVs.
  • Section 2 reviews practices in each of the 50 states and local activities that have amended motor vehicle codes. For a review of legislation that has been introduced across all 50 states (some of which has not passed out of state legislatures as law), refer to Appendix C, which is a sortable Excel spreadsheet delineating activities at the federal and state level.
  • Section 3 highlights activities being undertaken by transportation agencies within this field, specifically highlighting the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA’s) activities.
  • Section 4 provides brief summaries of law journal articles that address subject matter focus areas for policy-makers and legislators to consider as C/AV/HAV market penetrations grow. It includes a review of privacy laws.
  • Section 5 provides a review of international activities being undertaken in this area. The team reviewed related activities taking place among our North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) trade partners, Canada and Mexico, as well as in European countries and the European Union, Australia, and Japan.
  • Section 6 offers conclusions based on information presented in sections 1 through 5.

View all volumes of NCHRP Web-Only Document 253:

  • Vol. 1: Legal Landscape
  • Vol. 2: State Legal and Regulatory Audit
  • Vol. 3: Legal Modification Prioritization and Harmonization Analysis
  • Vol. 4: Autonomous Vehicle Action Plan
  • Vol. 5: Developing the Autonomous Vehicle Action Plan
  • Vol. 6: Implementation Plan


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