Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Testing and Operation Requirements

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AVs may be operated on public highways for testing purposes if there is a licensed vehicle operator seated in the driver's seat monitoring the safe operation of the AV and capable of taking immediate manual control of the vehicle in the event that the automated driving system fails. Before an AV may be tested on public highways, the Vermont Traffic Committee (Committee) must approve a permit application that defines the scope of the test and demonstrates the ability of the AV tester to comply with testing requirements. An approved AV tester is required to submit a report to the Committee annually, including information about AV safety, traffic operations, interaction with roadway infrastructure, and any public comments, until testing is complete.

The Vermont Agency of Transportation published an Automated Vehicle Testing Guide that includes a list of municipalities that have preapproved the testing of AVs in their jurisdictions. An AV is defined as any vehicle that is equipped with a technology that has the capability to operate the vehicle without the direct control of the driver.

(Reference Vermont Statutes Title 23, Chapter 41, Sections 4201-4203)