House paves the way for self-driving cars

An Uber Volvo XC90 was involved in a minor crash during a test program near Phoenix. Under the Self Drive Act Uber's still required to report

The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety told lawmakers in a letter on September 5 that expanding the cap on safety exemptions to 100,000 vehicles per year could be risky and that the bill's preemption of state authority is overly broad. Under the new law, test cars will not be required to have steering wheels or pedals - something all state traffic laws require at the moment. Latta is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee that developed the legislation. According to Rogers, this legislation strives to turn over the power to the cities and states so they can regulate, restrict, or reject self-driving vehicles within individual communities. One open question is whether or not the Senate bill will include commercial vehicles. This would be a significant increase on the number of vehicles that have been tested on U.S. roads so far (through agreements with various state-level bodies).

President Donald Trump's administration is set to reveal modified self-driving vehicle guidelines next week in MI, in response to automakers' calls for removal of legal barriers to putting autonomous vehicles on the road, sources informed on the matter stated.

As The Drive reported earlier this morning, the Self Drive Act allows companies like Waymo, Uber, General Motors, and Ford to push out 25,000 autonomous cars per year that don't comply with current passenger vehicle safety regulations-you know, like having a steering wheel, or accelerator and brake pedals. Companies will need to demonstrate that they meet specific guidelines in order to be issued a "safety assessment certificate" allowing them to avoid certain rules and red tape.

In addition, it would also allow for more driverless vehicle tests, which means more cars on the road. After some time, this number will be expanded to 100,000 per year.

As autonomous vehicles rely on gathering data from their environments and users to make important decisions, privacy is another major area of concern.

The bill isn't law yet, and there's still a (very slim) chance it could be shot down before it gets final approval, but for now it appears to be headed for the books. "The US must stay at the forefront of innovation and technology, and we must make sure that we remain in the driver's seat, as opposed to countries like China or India", said Dingell.

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