Visible to the public USDOT Seeks Information on Vehicle Automation

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david kuehn
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The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) is seeking informed views of the opportunities and challenges to the development, deployment, operation and use of increased automation of the surface transportation system, including vehicles, drivers, users, road-based infrastructure, information systems and applications for the purpose of developing a U.S. DOT multimodal research plan for automation.

This is an area of great interest to the public, which may have significant impacts on many societal issues such as driving safety, personal mobility, energy consumption, operating efficiency, environmental impact, and land use. The focus for this RFI is to learn the views of government, industry, academia, and the American public with regard to:

  • Roles of local, state, and federal governments in policy formation
  • Technical challenges
  • Human factors issues
  • Institutional issues
  • Legal issues associated with increased automation

Input to this RFI will assist the U.S. DOT to:

  • Identify, categorize, and prioritize key research challenges
  • Identify and begin quantifying anticipated societal costs and benefits
  • Learn about current and planned research activities among private and public research groups
  • Gain insight into commercial trends and market developments
  • Understand opportunities that may be created for public-private partnerships and financing
  • Organize the U.S. DOT research plan temporally, according to near-, mid-, and long-term priorities that reflect the time-sensitive aspects of evolving automation capabilities and market demands
  • Identify appropriate areas for policy formation that can help to accelerate beneficial developments, reduce or eliminate public exposure to risk, and reduce the development and operation costs associated with automation

The RFI can be found on FedBizOps and here: Responses are due by 12:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, Tuesday 23 April 2013, and shall be sent electronically to the Contracting Specialist, Michael Rigby, The USDOT extended the deadline for responses to the automation RFI until Tuesday 23 April at 12 noon.

Many responses and questions have already been received. One of the questions that has been raised merits direct response: You do not need to respond to all of the RFI questions. You may respond to as many (or as few) of the questions as you want. Your response can be as long or as short as you choose. And, if there is an issue or area that you think is germane to the issue, but the RFI doesn't directly ask the question you have in mind, please write to that issue.