US House Unanimously Passes Bill to Speed Development of Self-Driving Cars

US House Unanimously Passes Bill to Speed Development of Self-Driving Cars

US House Unanimously Passes Bill to Speed Development of Self-Driving Cars

Manufacturers would eventually be able to introduce as many as 100,000 self-driving cars per year that don't comply with current safety rules that assume the presence of a human driver.

Manufacturers are expected to develop processes to prevent vehicle hacks and have incident response plans in place to deal with threats, the bill states.

The House measure would require automakers to provide regulators with safety assessment reports proposed in the 2016 self-driving guidelines, but would not require pre-market approval of advanced vehicle technologies.

Companies like Google-owned Waymo, Telsa, Uber, and longtime automotive manufacturers such as General Motors, have had to tiptoe around strict regulations in their testing of autonomous auto tech, and this legislation would certainly remove some of those road blocks. The legislation also calls on the Department of Transportation to review its own regulations, many of which define a auto by reference to, for example, steering wheels and brake pedals in view of some AV designs that obviate the need for the features. By receiving these exemptions, companies will have more control over the proper methods of testing for their autonomous technologies. To make matters a bit more complicated, The Washington Post expressed its skepticism over the Senate's ability to pass the bill, as they are tied up with more pressing issues at the moment. The House measure does not include large trucks.

U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, the chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee's Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee, brought out the bill at the end of July.

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Consumer advocates have sought more changes, including giving the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration quicker access to crash data and more funding to oversee self-driving cars.

As self-driving technologies, and other autonomous features, have come to the forefront of the automotive industry, hacking has become a huge concern. Commercial vehicles are not included as part of the House bill.

What this bill will essentially do is create a framework for regulating driverless vehicles.

The next step in the process is the Senate's vote.

"Simple things most of us take for granted, such as getting to work, going to the doctor, a trip to the grocery store, or across town to visit family, can be hard undertakings for some", Bilirakis said at that time.

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