Dear Executive Director Danielson:

On behalf of TechFreedom and the R Street Institute, we respectfully submit these comments in response to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) request for comments on its advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, “Removing Regulatory Barriers for Vehicles with Automated Driving Systems. (Docket Number NHTSA-2019-0036)” issued in Washington, D.C. on May 28, 2019.

TechFreedom is a post-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting the progress of technology that improves the human condition, R Street is a free-market think tank with a pragmatic approach to public policy challenges. Together, we applaud NHTSA for this particular effort to curb regulatory barriers impeding the promise of automated systems, while acknowledging potential barriers and unintended consequences that could result from such capabilities.

At a high-level, we urge NHTSA to adopt separate and distinct control requirements between vehicle types to ensure that Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (“FMVSSs”) compliance for Automated Driving System Dedicated Vehicles (“ADS-DVs”) reflects the fundamental differences that exist between AVs and their traditional counterparts. We believe that by using this approach, many of the barriers to compliance verification that NHTSA has identified are more readily overcome. Further, we note that no single compliance verification method proposed by NHTSA will appropriately assess ADS-DV capabilities without either modifying the development trajectory of the vehicles, or relying on inadequate results for safety assurance.

For these reasons, we believe that NHTSA must implement a multifaceted approach to compliance verification testing, reliant on various methods in consort with one another, in order to realize appropriate safety assurance. Specifically, NHTSA’s approach should begin with a review of technical…

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