NSPE releases policy on Autonomous Vehicles

NSPE represents licensed professional engineers who, under state licensure laws and rules, have a responsibility for protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public, above all other considerations. With the introduction of autonomous vehicles, automation is poised to become a much larger part of our transportation environment. Much of the discussion to date has been on the technology, its capabilities, and the perceived public benefits. However, many questions remain unanswered by industry, which has led to uncertainty within the public regulatory environment. To address this uncertainty, NSPE proposes the outcome-based standards below, based on careful consideration and deliberation, as a starting point for adopting standards that protect public safety. This document provides public policy decision makers, regulators, manufacturers, and others with guidelines to measure the safety readiness of autonomous vehicles under consideration for deployment.

Licensed professional engineers should play a critical role as part of the autonomous vehicle design and manufacturing process because of the breadth and depth of the professional engineers’ understanding of engineering issues as well as their obligation to hold paramount the public health, safety and welfare. Read more…