As some states strive to style themselves as advocates for advanced technologies that bring in more jobs, they walk a fine line between public safety and economic boosterism.
On a higher level, Philip Koopman, safety expert and associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, was favorable toward PennDOT’s new guidance. He wrote in his blog, “There is a lot to like about this policy. It makes it clear that a written safety plan is required and suggests addressing one way or another the big three items I’ve proposed for AV testing safety.”
Koopman’s three items are: 1) Make sure the driver is paying attention, 2) make sure the driver can take over the wheel when something goes wrong, and 3) make sure that the big red button (disengagement mechanism) is actually safe.