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Autonomous vehicles are already being tested on the nation's roads, and vehicles in "self-driving" mode have already been involved in several crashes where the technology may have failed to respond to other vehicles as expected. Uber Technologies CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has even boldly predicted that flying vehicles will be a reality in 5-7 years.
Yet, outreach to autonomous vehicle technology companies and auto manufacturers by the Emergency Responder Safety Institute has raised a number of concerns. Some companies haven't resolved how these technologies will interface with emergency responders operating at traffic incidents and with temporary traffic controls at emergency scenes. Some companies haven't thought about these issues at all. Some companies have recognized the need to address new technology and emergency incident scenes but have not yet developed complete solutions. Few of these technology companies have expertise in how traffic incident management is handled and thus don't know what autonomous vehicles need to be able to do, or how they will do it, when approaching and passing emergency scenes.
Autonomous vehicle technology is moving to market very quickly and test vehicles may already be on the roads in your jurisdiction. Are you ready for them? Most agencies are not. In this program, you will learn the basics of autonomous vehicle technology, the challenges and opportunities it presents to emergency responders, the current state of technology development, and how to begin to prepare for the presence of these vehicles on the roadways you serve.