Trump administration move onto self-driving cars

uber-self-driving-car

The Trump administration took its first step into the regulation of self-driving cars and trucks that will transform our nation’s roadways. Elaine Chao, Transportation Secretary rolled out updated voluntary guidelines for the vehicles during an appearance in Michigan:

  • Again you don’t need to get pre-approval from the Department of Transportation before deploying an autonomous vehicle.
  • They have also made other changes that the tech industry will appreciate, like scaling back on data-sharing requirements for companies.
  • And the guidelines clear up the role of state and federal governments. Automakers and technology companies don’t want a patchwork of state safety regulations.

The big picture: The Federal government is trying to stake out their place in dealing with self-driving technology as Detroit and Silicon Valley zoom ahead. The House has already approved a bill that would accelerate testing, and the Senate is in the process of vetting a similar proposal.

The other coast: The Industry likes the changes. The head of a coalition of self-driving car manufacturers including Waymo, Uber, and Ford, said that it was “pleased to see the Trump Administration continuing the work to bring fully self-driving vehicles to U.S. roads.” Intel said it applauded the agency’s move.

Yes, but: Not everyone is a fan of the new guidelines. “After waiting months for the Trump Administration to release its vision for self-driving cars, AV Guidance 2.0 is a step backwards,” said two top Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Frank Pallone and Jan Schakowsky, in a statement. “Instead of focusing on safety and ensuring car makers are properly testing these vehicles, the Administration chose to cave to industry and pressure states into not acting.”

Consumers Union, meanwhile, said strong federal oversight is needed and that the Department of Transportation “should be asking more of automakers, not less” when it comes to safety.

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