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News, Analysis & Perspective on Autonomous Vehicles

Driverless Seattle: How cities can plan for automated vehicles

Tech Policy Lab, University of Washington, February 1, 2017

The advent of automated vehicles (AVs)—also known as driverless or self-driving cars— alters many assumptions about automotive travel. Foremost, of course, is the assumption that a vehicle requires a driver: a human occupant who controls the direction and speed of the vehicle, who is responsible for attentively monitoring the vehicle’s environment, and who is liable for most accidents involving the vehicle. By changing these and other fundamentals of transportation, AV technologies present opportunities but also challenges for policymakers across a wide range of legal and policy areas. To address these challenges, federal and state governments are already developing regulations and guidelines for AVs.

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