By David Bauer, senior vice president of government relations, ARTBA

The new autonomous vehicle regulations released by the Obama administration Sept. 20 largely focus on the safety standards to which automobile manufacturers must adhere, but also acknowledge the role of roadway infrastructure in accommodating such vehicles. The regulations, which took effect upon release, encourage states to standardize and maintain roadway infrastructure and singled out signs, lights, traffic signals and pavement markings.

The administration claims “[t]his will support the safe operation of [highly autonomous vehicles] and ensure the safety of human drivers.” States are also urged to avoid a “patchwork of inconsistent State laws that could impede innovation and the expeditious and widespread testing of safety enhancing automated vehicle technologies.”

While the timing and prevalence of autonomous vehicles in American’s mobility alternatives remains to be seen, it is clear the transportation construction industry will have a role to play in this area.