Automakers want more self-driving cars allowed on the road

Automakers want more self-driving cars allowed on the road

At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing June 14, Mitch Bainwol, CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, told the panel that NHTSAês current safety standards are holding up the deployment of self-driving vehicles. He asked members of Congress to allow more exemptions to those standards so more self-driving cars can be deployed.

The hearing was designed to explore automated vehicle technology and hurdles for testing and deployment.

–Self-driving vehicle technology will have a transformational impact on highway safety,” said committee chairman Sen. John Thune (R-SD).

A group of three bipartisan senators on the committee Thune, Gary Peters (D-MI) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) issued several principles for bipartisan legislation on self-driving vehicles, saying that no date or deadline for introduction has been set. The principles include: emphasizing safety, remaining tech-neutral, clarifying separate federal and state roles, strengthening cybersecurity, and educating the public.

The U.S. Department of Transportation will issue self-driving guidelines in the next few months, said DOT Secretary Elaine Chao. Automakers and tech companies are anxious for guidelines so they can avoid the patchwork of state laws that is emerging.

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