Trump admin revising driverless car guidelines

Trump admin revising driverless car guidelines
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The Trump administration is reportedly revising Obama-era guidelines for driverless vehicles.

Updated guidance on the emerging technology is expected to be released in the next few months, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said, according to multiple reports.

"The pressure is mounting for the federal government to do something," Chao said during a conference in Detroit on Monday, according to Reuters.

The new guidance will focus on spurring industry innovation and encouraging "new entrants and ideas that deliver safer vehicles,” Chao added. But she also emphasized that the agency would not rush to draft binding regulations on self-driving cars.

“Too quick of movement toward rules may not be sustainable in the long term,” Chao said, according to Bloomberg. “We don’t want to have rules that may impede future advances.”

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The administration has been re-evaluating the flexible, voluntary guidelines for autonomous vehicles that were released last fall.

The framework includes a 15-point safety assessment for automakers that is meant to be subjected to the formal rulemaking process. The guidelines also include model policy for states in an effort to avoid a messy patchwork of regulations across the country.
 
The industry has searched for clues about how Trump will approach autonomous vehicle regulations, with some expecting his administration to have a lighter touch.

Most industry representatives have called the driverless car guidelines a good first step, but think some improvements could be made.

Driverless car developers have raised concern that states are trying to make the voluntary safety checklist mandatory, while others have taken issue with being asked to share significant data about their technology.

The industry has also urged policymakers to ease certain safety standards that don’t apply to traditional automobiles, which they say could hamper innovation and testing.

But Chao said Silicon Valley needs to “step up” and be more forthcoming with information about self-driving cars in an effort to better educate both the government and public about the emerging technology.

“A lot of the technology comes from Silicon Valley,” Chao said, according to Bloomberg. “They have a responsibility to educate the rest of the American public on the technologies they’re thinking about, technologies which are miles and miles ahead of most people’s understanding.”