Business Law

Business Law News 2017, ISSUE 1

Automated Vehicles: USDOT Issues New Policy on Development and Deployment of Automated Vehicle Technologies

Katie Thomson and Andrew Barr

Katie Thomson chairs Morrison & Foerster’s Transportation Group, which counsels clients throughout the transportation sector. Prior to joining MoFo, Ms. Thomson served as general counsel of the U.S. Department of Transportation and as chief counsel at the Federal Aviation Administration. Ms. Thomson is resident in MoFo’s Washington, D.C. office, and her email address is

Andrew Barr is an associate in MoFo’s T-ansportation Group. He is resident in MoFo’s Denver office, and his email is

Human factors cause or contribute to more than 94 percent of crashes on U.S. roads. While automobile safety technologies have greatly reduced the number of fatalities in recent years, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT or the Department) is seeing a startling uptick in the number of fatalities and serious injuries, based on 2015 data. Autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies and smart infrastructure hold tremendous promise for enhancing the safety of our roadways and providing greater mobility and access to all Americans. But what is the federal government doing to support the use of these game-changing technologies?

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