Coronavirus Response: Real-World Case for Expanded Autonomous Vehicles Testing in the U.S.

In response to the onset of  the COVID-19 outbreak, companies suspended autonomous vehicle (AV) programs in an effort to limit contact between drivers and riders and to comply with social distancing recommendations.   While limited continued testing of autonomous vehicles will still be possible via virtual simulation tools, AV technology, within the context of the coronavirus pandemic, may still present the possibility of addressing critical needs and providing essential services through the use of driverless delivery vehicles.   The combination of the need to minimize health risks presented to and by human drivers who deliver vital supplies and materials to the public, and the ability of AVs, equipped with disinfection tools, to deliver such items, may incentivize public authorities to authorize expanded testing and use of AV throughout the U.S. (more…)