Trump administration moves ahead with plans to rewrite self-driving cars rules

Trump administration moves ahead with plans to rewrite self-driving cars rules
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The Trump administration is moving ahead with a plan to revise safety rules barring self-driving cars from the road unless they have equipment such as steering wheels, pedals and mirrors, according to a document released publicly Thursday.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) update, dubbed “Automated Vehicles 3.0.,” seeks to support "the safe, reliable, efficient, and cost-effective integration of automation into the broader multimodal surface transportation system."

The NHTSA is seeking comment "on proposed changes to particular safety standards to accommodate automated vehicle technologies and the possibility of setting exceptions to certain standards that are relevant only when human drivers are present,” opening the possibility of removing the aforementioned requirements down the road.

Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoThe Hill's Morning Report - Report of Bolton tell-all manuscript roils Trump defense Mitch McConnell may win the impeachment and lose the Senate Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Facebook deepfake ban falls short | House passes bills to win 5G race | Feds sound alarm on cyberthreat from Iran | Ivanka Trump appearance at tech show sparks backlash MORE said in the document that while self-driving cars have the potential to significantly reduce traffic crashes and road deaths, "the public has legitimate concerns about the safety, security, and privacy of automated technology."

Nearly 75 safety standards must currently be met by automakers, most of which were written based on the assumption that a driver will be in the vehicle and able to take control.

The report noted that with the influx of self-driving vehicles, the Trump administration will not back any movement to disallow human driving, saying the department “embraces the freedom of the open road, which includes the freedom for Americans to drive their own vehicles.”

These updates to self-driving car regulations come as many companies begin delving into the technology. Uber and Toyota began a partnership to develop the vehicles in August, despite a deadly crash involving an automated Uber in Arizona halting on-road testing. Honda made a $2 billion investment in General Motors's version of the tech Wednesday.