Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Auto industry pushing for federal oversight on self-driving cars.

The Detroit Free Press (6/27, Snavely, 1.01M) reports that representatives from the auto industry are pushing Washington lawmakers for “greater federal oversight and authority to regulate self-driving cars while consumer safety watchdogs warned Congress about the dangers of proposed federal legislation that they say goes too far.” The industry is seeking the ability to “test and deploy much larger fleets of driverless cars and make it clear that federal regulations takes precedence over state laws.” Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) has argued for the need for smart federal regulation so that US automakers are able to stay ahead of industry innovation globally. She said she is talking with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao about draft bills on the matter.
        Democrats and Republicans on Tuesday “sparred” over such regulations, as well as “a proposal to allow automakers and technology companies to bypass existing regulations in introducing autonomous cars,” Reuters (6/27, Shepardson) reports. US House Energy and Commerce subcommittee Democrats say the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) should be aggressive in mandating self-driving car safety. The piece says that Republicans have introduced a package of 14 bills, which would “allow NHTSA to exempt up to 100,000 vehicles per year from federal motor vehicle safety rules.” The NHTSA had established voluntary guidelines for self-driving cars under the Obama Administration, which Chao “vowed to quickly update.”
        Additional coverage includes the Detroit News (6/27, Laing, 473K).

        Advocates urge Congress for more safety regulations on driverless cars. Bloomberg News (6/27, Beene, 2.41M) reports that safety and consumer advocates on Tuesday told Congress that before companies, such as Apple and Ford, are allowed to “expand testing of self-driving cars,” there need to be “basic rules of the road.” Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety argue that the safety of driverless cars need to be certified before testing and that Congress should allow fewer such cars to be tested on roads. Bloomberg says that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “currently allow automakers to field vehicles that don’t comply with the letter of federal auto-safety standards under certain limited circumstances.” 

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