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USA politicians approve driverless auto bill

USA politicians approve driverless auto bill

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill with unanimous support that could accelerate the rollout of self-driving technology, a media report said.

Another interesting tidbit to note is that the bill would override any state-level laws prohibiting the testing of autonomous vehicle technology within state lines, effectively rendering the entire United States a testing ground for unproven self-driving systems.

The bill, which needs Senate approval before being sent to the White House, would prevent states from imposing regulations on autonomous vehicles that would make it more hard for manufacturers to deploy self-driving cars nationwide. It also instructs NHTSA to develop new standards for self-driving cars.

Consumer advocates are pushing for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to be given quicker access to crash data and more funding to oversee self-driving cars.

"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. "We kept our heads down". Back in July, the Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously voted to send the bill to the full chamber for a vote; that vote was held today.

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Current federal rules prohibit self-driving cars without human controls on USA roads.

The House measure, the first significant federal legislation aimed at speeding self-driving cars to market, would allow automakers to obtain exemptions to deploy up to 25,000 vehicles without meeting existing auto safety standards in the first year.

Companies including Waymo, GM, Ford Motor Co (F.N), Uber Technologies Inc UBER.UL, Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and others are aggressively pursuing automated vehicle technologies. One sticking point will be whether to include commercial self-driving trucks in the legislation.

The Trump administration meanwhile will put its first formal stamp on autonomous vehicle policy when the U.S. Transportation Department releases updated deployment guidance later this month.

In order to do so, it would have to demonstrate its control software and computer hardware is safe and secure enough to sidestep tough regulations that otherwise apply to vehicles.


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