Priority Criminal Justice Needs Initiative
Aug 18, 2014
Autonomous vehicles promise many benefits, but questions remain about how law enforcement officers will interact with them. Officers likely will encounter new challenges related to technology, procedures, and constitutional authority. A panel of experts identified ways to address these challenges.
Identifying High-Priority Needs for Law Enforcement Interactions With Autonomous Vehicles Within the Next Five Years
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Autonomous vehicles (AVs) promise many benefits, but questions remain about how law enforcement (LE) officers will interact with them. Officers likely will encounter new challenges related to technology, procedures, and constitutional authorities. To better understand the potential challenges of LE interaction with AVs, the RAND Corporation and the Police Executive Research Forum, on behalf of the National Institute of Justice, convened a workshop of practitioners and researchers to identify the highest-priority problems and associated needs related to AVs within the next five years. The purpose of the workshop was to explore specific scenarios involving AVs that have occurred or will occur and generate needs and potential technical options for addressing such situations. Workshop participants identified 33 needs that revolved around three broad themes: (1) designing a means of communicating with AVs that also maintains cybersecurity; (2) improving stakeholder communication and collaboration; and (3) developing standard procedures, guidelines, and training needs for LE interacting with AVs. The consensus was that many of the short-term needs identified in this report require a response and that LE should begin proactive preparations to address longer-term challenges before being forced into reactive changes.
The research described in this report was prepared for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and conducted by the Justice Policy Program within RAND Social and Economic Well-Being.
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