Preparing for Autonomous Vehicles

Preparing for Autonomous Vehicles
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2021-10-07
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Preparing for Autonomous Vehicles
Unit 2 Transcript: Preparing for Autonomous Vehicles
Unit 3 Workbook: Preparing for Autonomous Vehicles
Unit 4 Recording: Preparing for Autonomous Vehicles

The idea of autonomous vehicles (AVs) may seem like some futuristic utopia you only see in TV or movies. But actually, we are slowly transitioning into a society where AVs are part of reality. If your vehicle has cruise control, lane sensors, or emergency brakes, best believe that you’re already experiencing the AV prototype. As manufacturers innovate to make fully autonomous vehicles available for the public, key stakeholders proactively brainstorm how to traverse AV technology and how it can impact public safety and law enforcement.

This session’s instructor is Dave McClure, a Senior Principal at the  Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) where he works to improve the justice system’s effectiveness and efficiency through empirical research, science, data, and technology.

Specifics of his discussion are on:

  • The Autonomous Road Vehicles and Law Enforcement Report, the Priority Needs Technology Project and the insights developed by key stakeholders who participated in these initiatives.
  • Defining what an autonomous vehicle is, the main function that makes it one, and the conventionally accepted levels of autonomy of the vehicles.
  • The main points of discussion and the categories of the insights gathered identified as issues and the recommendations to address these.
  • The cybersecurity and AV communications considerations identified.
    • Law enforcement’s inability to recognize whether a vehicle is capable of or is actually running in automated mode and the options to identify and communicate with it.
    • Lack of understanding about cyber threats that may impact the vehicles and law enforcement activities, and overcoming these by analyzing potential risks, threats, and attack models.
    • Communication means to initiate traffic stops and confirm license and documentation by developing an authenticated system that isn’t vulnerable to hacks from unauthorized entities.
  • The stakeholder communication and collaboration issues taken into account.
    • The need for informational efforts from AV developers and equipment manufacturers to improve law enforcement knowledge of AV systems and procedures to access it should it be needed
    • AV developers to coordinate and conduct information-gathering exercises with dispatchers and first responders to identify potential problems, solutions, and other valuable information.
    • Informing law enforcement of the specific data being collected by AVs which may be beneficial for law enforcement purposes.
    • Educational initiatives from law enforcement to AV system developers to demonstrate how specific technologies can impact law enforcement activities and public safety.
    • Identifying best practices in information-sharing between AV system and law enforcement related to planned and unplanned closures.
  • The points related to standard procedures, guidelines, and training related to AVs.
    • The need to implement model training and guides for law enforcement to appropriately identify and interact with vehicles running in automated mode.
    • The value in building guides and tools that law enforcement can utilize to respond in scenarios where AVs are hacked and not operable.
    • Creating a guide that will outline tactics and procedures should AVs and related technologies be used incorrectly or illegally.
    • Developing a nationwide standard outlining the maneuvers that AVs can perform in response to law enforcement.

Questions from the audience were about:

  • Legal developments at the state and federal level related to AVs.
  • Which government entity the guidelines will be coming from.
  • How AV companies are collaborating with law enforcement to address the issues identified.
  • How to best develop policies and procedures around AVs given the fast evolution of technology.
  • Actual cybersecurity incidents related to AVs.
  • Using AVs as patrol vehicles.
  • External means of communications and control for AVs.
  • Who is held responsible when an AV is involved in an accident.
  • How long the transition will be to figure out rules and guidelines for AVs.


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Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “All of it was valuable because it’s such a new thing. Very interesting and good info. Good presenter.” — Carrie
  • “The author appeared to be very well versed on his subject matter. Well done!” — KIM
  • “Awesome information.” — Michele
  • “There were questions about AV operations that I had not considered when working with AV industry partners.” — Troy
  • “I did like seeing the video footage–it really helped demonstrate the dangers present.” — Hilary


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