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US regulators will share automated vehicle test data with the public

AV TEST will provide a public-facing platform where participants will share their testing data.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a new initiative that will give you access to more information on automotive vehicle tests conducted by various companies. It’s a voluntary effort called Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing (c) Initiative, which aims to increase transparency in the industry. The program will also enable Federal, State, and local government “to coordinate and share information in a standard way.”

At the moment, the project counts nine companies and eight states as participants. Beep, Cruise, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Local Motors, Navya, Nuro, Toyota, Uber and Waymo have signed on to be part of the program. Meanwhile, the participating states are California, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah.

According to Reuters, the hope is to boost public awareness about self-driving technologies, since most people are still skeptical about automated vehicles. Deputy NHTSA Administrator James Owens told the organization in an interview that being more transparent “encourages everybody to up their game to help better ensure that the testing is done in a manner fully consistent with safety.”

The NHTSA will hold a series of public discussions nationwide to achieve that goal, featuring leaders from the industry and officials from the government. AV TEST will also lead to an online public-facing platform where participants will share their on-road testing activities and other data. Eventually, the regulators will roll out online mapping tools that show test locations across the US along with testing activity data, such as vehicle types and uses, dates, frequency, vehicle counts and routes.

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