US House unanimously approves sweeping self-driving vehicle measure

10 September, 2017, 15:36 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • US House votes overwhelmingly in favor of self-driving-car bill   It's now up to the Senate to pass something similar.          
    Waymo

"We look forward to continue working with Members on both sides of the aisle in the House and the Senate to enhance auto safety and expanded mobility that will further solidify USA innovation and leadership". What it does is permit auto companies to test up to 100,000 autonomous cars on public roads all across America, even if they do not meet local and state safety standards. The proposal, which Reuters reports will shortly be headed for a vote in the Senate, would make it possible for carmakers to test their autonomous vehicles even if they're not as safe as all the other cars on the road.

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 auto safety regulations-you know, like having a steering wheel, or accelerator and brake pedals. The House bill only applies to passenger cars and light trucks. This provision ensures that self-driving cars are developed with seniors and the underserved in mind. The bill would also establish a council and mandate a review of the data collected from these 100,000 vehicles to determine the best regulations and safety features.

"If we're going to stay at the forefront of innovation and technology in this country, we have to be driving the technology for autonomous vehicles", Michigan Democratic Representative Debbie Dingell said before the vote. The House bill did not include commercial vehicles, due to pressure from labor unions. "I'm really proud of the fact that we got this out of the House".


Proponents say self-driving vehicles could help eliminate the human error responsible for some 94% of the more than 30,000 fatal vehicle crashes in the USA each year. The group also urged additional funding for NHTSA. 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.

Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI) supported the bill, and said on the House floor: "This legislation and technology is indeed going to play a very important role in improving motor vehicle safety and addressing the rising number of traffic-related fatalities".

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