Department of Transportation Releases Document for Future of Transportation Regulatory Approach

Jul 26, 2020 | Srivats Shankar

The US Department of Transportation releases document for facilitating communication between regulators and developers of emerging transportation technology

The US Department of Transportation in collaboration with the Nontraditional and Emerging Transportation Technologies Council has released “Pathways to the Future of Transportation“. This document seeks to engage with new innovators on how to work with the Department of Transportation to initiate proposals for emerging technology. According to the Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, “[this] policy document is the Department’s first step in providing a clear path for innovators of new, cross modal technologies to engage with the Department.”

This document is established alongside the new Nontraditional and Emerging Transportation Technologies Council (that is funded in accordance with the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2020), which seeks to build upon Congress’ authority to regulate the safety of transportation throughout the country. However, current regulations may not factor the rapid development of new technology, ranging from autonomous vehicles to other innovative forms of transportation that are being experimented.

The document acknowledges that innovators currently struggle with regulatory barriers, limitations to funding as a result of such regulatory barriers, and lack of parity with private-sector standards. Accordingly, the document acknowledges a need to innovative existing regulations that take into account safety, existing infrastructure, innovation, and accountability. It additionally acknowledges the authority of existing federal agencies whose jurisdiction overlaps with the Department of Transportation.

The document also provides a roadmap for the private-sector and the Department of Transportation, regarding the development of policy and pathway for innovation.

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