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Expert Comment: Professor Paul Jennings

Paul JenningsProfessor of Experiential Engineering, Paul Jennings comments on US plans $4bn for self-driving rules.

Self-driving, or autonomous, vehicle technology is developing at a rapid rate. Many of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers are already unveiling self-driving car solutions and are being joined in the race by new players such as Google, Tesla and UK initiatives such as those by RDM Automotive LTD.

The need for a consistent set of regulations and international testing standards, as identified by the $4bn US DoT initiative for common rules, is critical in bringing self-driving cars to our roads. We know for example that current rules require the use of trained drivers for testing, but we have to consider how to engage end-users early on in the testing of self-driving vehicles. I believe these factors are key to increasing public acceptance and trust in autonomous driving technologies.