November 16, 2016
The 2017 AAMVA region II annual conference will happen in June, however, the planning exercise to have another insightful and thought-provoking conference has already started.
AAMVA is a non-profit, tax-exempt industry association of the US Departments of Motor Vehicles and Canadian Ministries of Transportation. AAMVA develops model programs in motor vehicle administration, law enforcement, and highway safety. Every year, AAMVA organizes a number of events for jurisdictions to connect, collaborate and re-calibrate on key imperatives and priorities for their motor vehicle and licensing agencies. AAMVA region II annual conference is one such key event for jurisdictions in the South Central and Atlantic region.
Region II board and administrators met in the first week of November to identify the key things that should be discussed at the 2017 annual conference. We had an opportunity to connect with the board and administrators, learn key priorities for jurisdictions in the coming year, and share our perspective on the key trends shaping the future for the motor vehicle and licensing agencies.
Motor vehicle and licensing agencies are undergoing a significant transformation driven by a number of imperatives including increasing customer demands and service expectations, regulatory requirements, and evolving technologies (autonomous vehicles, big data analytics etc.). While system modernization still remains the top priority for jurisdictions, many agencies discussed some of the emerging trends that they are looking to address over the next few years. Some of these include social media for crisis management, improving collaboration with law enforcement, data driven approach to crime and traffic safety, and mobile driver licenses.
It was good to see agencies becoming more interested in technologies like social, mobile, and analytics. Some of the organizations in the commercial space have been using all these effectively to become more customer-centric, improve collaboration, enhance efficiency, and improve security. Agencies have a great opportunity fast-track their initiatives in this space by adapting best-practices from the commercial sector. Of course, modernized systems form a key foundation to leverage these technologies effectively. And, agile methodology is best suited to fast-track modernization and help agencies address the rapid pace of digital-driven change.
One thing that stood out was the number of jurisdictions looking for autonomous vehicle (AV) solution. There has been a growing number of discussions around AV at the state level, especially in the area of self-driving vehicles which provides significant technological challenge to motor vehicle and licensing agencies. USDOT just published guidelines and NHTSA has devoted $200M in its 2017 budget (almost 20%) to this area.
Jurisdictions are looking at all aspects of AV from vehicle, commercial vehicles, DL and testing crash reporting, and law enforcement. There are different levels of automation with "traveler" standardization. Note: Key is "traveler" and not the "vehicle". So, "situational awareness" is a big concern for a lot of agencies with insurance issues and different types of victims. Technology with integration to these different 3rd parties will become foundational and move beyond as "a way to manage the change driven by AV" to "the only way AV related programs can be administered in the future." States would need to accelerate adoption of the AV driven change with new updates to technology and/or face serious operational and regulatory difficulties.
It will be interesting to see how this all (AV related changes) plays out over the next few months. How do you see the role of agencies changing in the driverless vehicle world?