Autonomous vehicles (AV) took center stage at the Chair’s Luncheon of the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting today. U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced “AV 4.0,” a new DOT-White House initiative created to unify AV efforts across 38 federal government entities, focusing chiefly on the potential of increased safety with less human error. One part of this initiative is an expansion of the Partnership for Analytics Research in Traffic Safety (PARTS) program, which is a data-sharing partnership between the government and private sector to collaborate on safety analysis. The program will expand to nearly 70 percent of the U.S. automobile market, allowing private-sector partners to learn from each other and prevent safety issues.
“The potential appeal of AVs is its ability to save thousands of lives every year,” said Chao. “AVs could also restore mobility for millions of people who face transportation challenges, such as the elderly and people with disabilities.”