Incorporating Drones and Self-Driving Vehicles into Communities

People have learned — via their phones and computers — that computer programmers can be brilliant but they are also human. We’ve also learned that computers are vulnerable to hackers. So, people naturally wonder how programming imperfections and hacker attacks will play out in traffic. Especially concerning is the transition, during which self-driving vehicles will share roads with old-fashioned cars and trucks driven by humans, some of whom are not actually excellent drivers. Autonomous vehicles certainly have many advantages. For starters, they have 360-degree and night vision and precise depth perception. But the human mind is also powerful and provides context to situations that is not easily replicated by computers. Our fellow citizens will need to have confidence that all of their concerns have been adequately addressed by policymakers and manufacturers in order for this technology to be successfully deployed and its potential realized. Many people have an additional concern about this “disruptive” technology, and that is the impact it will have on jobs. As a former Secretary of Labor, this concerns me very much. In the long run, new technologies create jobs. But the transition period can be very difficult for dislocated workers so this is something that also needs to be addressed. We need to help these workers adapt to this new world. At the U.S. Department of Transportation, safety will always be our number one priority. That’s why a key part of DOT’s mission is to cultivate and encourage safety innovation by eliminating unnecessary obstacles to the development and integration of new technology. Our approach will be tech neutral and flexible — not top-down, command and control. Let me share with you a few specific things the Department is doing to encourage innovation. As you know, drone technology is revolutionizing the aviation industry. Just this week, we will hit a major milestone when we surpass 1 million drones registered for use in the U.S. There are now about 50,000 registered drone operators – a new job category that did not exist until recently. This rapid growth is why last October 25, 2017, the Department announced a new drone pilot program to allow interested communities to safely experiment with new drone technologies. This includes package delivery, emergency inspections, flying drones over people, beyond the line of sight and more. The data, best practices and insights gained from the program will be used to enable the next generation of drone operations. Participation in this pilot program is strictly voluntary and the interest we have received has been outstanding! More than 150 completed applications have been received and they involve over 40 states, 75 local government entities, several tribal entities, more than 15 colleges and universities and 6 airport authorities. That’s why, today, I am announcing that in the first round we will have at least ten lead participants. It’s so important to keep drone innovation in the U.S., so our country remains a leader in this transformative technology. This past fall, the Department released new guidance for safe testing and integration of autonomous vehicles, AV 2.0: A Vision for Safety. This technology is advancing so rapidly that we expect to release AV 3.0 this summer. The update will be intermodal. It will address barriers to the safe integration of autonomous technology for motor carriers, trucks, infrastructure and port operations. We plan to update the guidance as often as needed. Let me also note that the voluntary safety assessment letters outlined in the 2.0 guidance will be preserved. So I encourage industry stakeholders who choose to participate to publish these letters. I also want to take this opportunity to announce that the Department will be seeking public input from across the transportation industry to identify existing barriers to innovation. This includes not only barriers that impact vehicles but also impediments to innovations that can impact our highways, railroads, trains and motor carriers. We don’t know the future, so we are looking for insight that can help us better understand how these technologies will evolve. Right now, there are many outdated transportation rules, terms and concepts that no longer apply to an automated world. This request for input will help us identify which regulations, parts of regulations or terminology need to be updated to allow for innovation to move forward. The Department issued multiple official Requests for Comment and Information as of 8:45 am PST this morning, and they will be posted on the DOT website and in the Federal Register. Creativity and innovation are part of the great genius of America. We must safeguard this legacy and allow the human spirit of innovation to triumph. Your companies are part of America’s innovation economy, which is a key driver in creating not only new technology, but jobs, hope and prosperity for others. Let us work together to ensure that our country remains a global technology leader, and that no one is left behind as this historic era of new mobility unfolds. Thank you. Source / More: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION oilandgasOil and Gas News Undiluted !!! “The squeaky wheel gets the oil” Report your news Follow us: @OilAndGasPress on Twitter | OilAndGasPress on Facebook Disclaimer Most News articles reported on OilAndGasPress are a reflection of what is published in the media. OilAndGasPress is not in a position to verify the accuracy of daily news articles OilAndGasPress welcomes all viewpoints. Should you wish to provide a different perspective on the above article, please email us ]]>