USA to unveil revised self-driving auto guidelines

Ford Autonomous Car

Ford Motor Co

The "Self Drive Act" approved by voice vote "will help pave the way for self-driving cars nationwide and ensures America stays a global leader in innovation", said a tweet from Representative Greg Walden, who chairs the House panel that drafted the bill. The cap would rise over three years to 100,000 vehicles annually.

Designers of self-driving cars have complained that the differing laws of each state have hindered the deployment of vehicles.

This doesn't mean that these cars won't be held to safety standards; companies that participate will need to secure permits before they can put their self-driving cars on the road and will regularly submit safety assessments to regulators.

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Under the bill, manufacturers seeking exemptions must demonstrate self-driving cars are at least as safe as existing vehicles. While states would continue to regulate registration, licensing, liability, insurance and safety inspections, they would not be able to set self-driving auto performance standards.

Automakers and technology companies, including General Motors, Ford and Alphabet's self-driving unit Waymo, has been pushing for legislations making it easier for them to deploy self-driving technology.

As more companies like Apple and Samsung begin testing self-driving cars in the U.S., along with more cities opening their roads to the tech, a new piece of legislation is on its way to expediting the rise of driverless vehicles even further. Nevertheless, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, whose department runs the NHTSA, will be revealing the updated guidelines at an event next Tuesday in MI, according to Reuters. A competing Senate bill under development may reportedly include regulations for self-driving trucks, but Axios reports opposition among labor unions remains high. A bipartisan group of US senators working on similar legislation has not introduced a bill. The Senate version may also soften the provisions preempting state rules.

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