Posted on Thursday, October 5th, 2017 at 2:04 pm
According to a recent Detroit Free Press article, the U.S. House recently passes a bill that would give Federal Regulators the final say over performance standards for self-driving vehicles. The bill will also permit up to 100,000 self-driving vehicles to be exempt from current safety standards while the self-driving technology is being developed. The bill, which passed unanimously, will now go to the Senate for consideration.
The Detroit Free Press said the bill is an attempt to deal with the multiple regulations that have been developed by the various states throughout the Nation which have come to be seen as a potential barrier to the rapid development of self-driving cars.
The legislation will require the Department of Transportation to develop rules within a year regarding self-driving cars sharing the road with traditional vehicles and setting other performance standards for such autonomous vehicles. Initially, the bill will allow for 50,000 vehicles to be exempt from current safety standards so long as the technology being tested develops a feature providing a safety level at least equal to the current standards. After 2 years, the number of exempt vehicles will jump to 100,000. And, within 3 years the Department of Transportation will be required to develop safety assessment criteria to be submitted by companies developing self-driving vehicles.
Although this legislation would give Congress and Federal regulators the authority for setting performance standards, it will continue to allow the states authority over such issues as licensing, insurance and law enforcement. While the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers issued a statement in support of the legislation, some consumer advocate groups expressed concern noting that such legislation will preclude states from regulating self-driving cars at a time when the Federal government has not yet developed its own standards for such self-driving cars.
Source: An Detroit Free Press article appearing at usatoday.com on September 6, 2017 entitled “House Passes Bill That Exempts Self-Driving Cars From Safety Rules” by Todd Spangler.