Beyond Speculation: Automated Vehicles and Public Policy: An Action Plan for Federal, State, and Local Policymakers

Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 15:30

Automated vehicle (AV) technology has the potential to completely change how we travel, how we ship goods, and on a larger scale, how we think about mobility. While fully automated vehicles are not yet commercially available, the technology is developing rapidly and some robotic driving functions are already on public roads today. Nevertheless, the challenges and potential of this technology have not been fully realized or addressed by many policymakers.

The uncertainty and newness of the technology means that governments are under pressure to craft regulations and make investments that encourage innovation while still protecting the public interest. Thirty-eight states have proposed or enacted a variety of AV policies, resulting in a patchwork of laws and regulations that are often inconsistent – if not outright contradictory. Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed its Federal Automated Vehicles Policy, the first step in creating a basis for industry leaders and governments to work together on developing and instituting AV policy.

Through a series of panel discussions, workshops, webinars, and consultation with Eno’s Digital Cities Advisory Board, Eno crafted a multifaceted set of recommendations that address the most pressing policy issues for AVs.

The full report is available online at


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