Driver operated and automated vehicles (AVs) will be sharing the roadways for a long time, according to a new report looking at safety issues affecting AVs.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has released a white paper discussing strategies for delivering safety messages to the public and preparing the criminal justice system as AVs take the road.

“Automated vehicles hold tremendous promise, but both driver-operated and highly automated vehicles will be sharing the roadways for a long time – maybe forever,” said Jonathan Adkins, GHSA Executive Director.

“Surveys show that many drivers do not understand or trust AVs, or appreciate their own operator responsibilities, likely due to the many mixed, confusing, or inaccurate messages about these features.

“We need to win the public’s trust and prepare them for safe use so that the lifesaving potential of this technology is not delayed.”

The report recommends that State Highway Safety Offices, AV developers, law enforcement and other stakeholders collaborate on a number of steps, including:

  • Develop and deploy consistent, honest safety messages to the public about all forms of automation, from driver assistance features to full self-driving capabilities.
  • Maintain a focus on today’s ongoing traffic safety challenges, such as impaired driving, speeding, failure to buckle up, distracted driving and sharing the road with non-motorized users.
  • Develop and deploy uniform policy and training for police, first responders and court officials about responding to and investigating AV crashes.