Blind Spots Remain as SELF DRIVE Act Passes House

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Blind Spots Remain as SELF DRIVE Act Passes House

A bill just breezed through the US House of Representatives that aims to give automakers an incredible amount of freedom in testing its self-driving cars on public roads. Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is scheduled to release revised self-driving guidelines during a speech next Tuesday in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Today, the US House of Representatives passed the "Self Drive Act", which prevents US states from creating any laws that regulate the development and performance of autonomous vehicles, putting that power exclusively in the hands of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It could allow for as many as 100,000 such vehicles a year to be exempted from certain safety standards while the technology is developing. "With this legislation, innovation can flourish without the heavy hand of government", Ohio Republican Bob Latta said on the House floor before the voice vote.

States will still be able to set regulations on registration, safety inspections, licensing, and insurance. The trio serve on the Senate commerce committee, which on September 6 announced a September 13 hearing to examine autonomous commercial vehicles and how they may fit into the Senate's self-driving vehicle legislation.

Soon, you could start seeing more self-driving cars on the road.

The Senate has been debating a similar bill to SELF DRIVE, and they haven't passed any legislation yet.

The legislations is aimed at giving auto manufacturers an edge in developing and rolling out new self-driving vehicle technologies here in the United States, but the freedoms it provides may be a cause for concern. However, supporters say self-driving cars will make roads safer by eliminating human error.

Additionally, the bill proposes to prevent USA states from creating laws that will control the development and performance of self-driving vehicles and will transfer the power exclusively to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Recode reports that while the Senate may struggle to find time to vote on its version this year, the Trump administration is expected to issue a voluntary safety checklist for automakers as early as next week. Automakers would also be required to provide regulators with safety assessments, but unlike in the Obama Administration guidelines, makers wouldn't need approval of new technologies in advance.

Through these changes, supporters of the act hope that more companies can get more autonomous cars on the streets with fewer roadblocks (pun unintended) for testing.

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