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New US Self-Driving Car Guidelines Coming This Summer

There will be new, revised self-driving car guidelines revealed this summer by the Trump Administration, US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has announced.

There will be new, revised self-driving car guidelines revealed this summer by the Trump Administration, US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has announced.

In other words, there will be new autonomous vehicle guidelines revealed that are meant to remove some of the ambiguity of earlier guidelines — potentially paving the way towards a faster rollout of the tech in the US.

Notably, the new guidelines will address the “barriers to the safe integration of autonomous technology for motor carriers, transit, trucks, infrastructure, and other modes,” as well as for cars, if Chao’s recent comments at an auto show forum in Detroit are to be believed.

This news follows on concerted lobbying efforts from the likes of GM, Toyota, Alphabet (Google), and many others to remove remaining roadblocks to the wide deployment of self-driving vehicles and taxis.

“Bills in Congress to speed the introduction of self-driving cars do not include commercial trucks. In September, Chao unveiled the first set of revisions to the guidelines that were first unveiled by the Obama administration,” Reuters reports.

“Chao said her goal is (to) eliminate ‘unnecessary obstacles to the development and integration of new technology. Our approach will be tech neutral and flexible — not top-down, or command and control.’ She added the government will ‘not be in the business of picking winners or losers, or favoring one form of technology over another.’

“…Earlier this month, the Transportation Department published notices requesting comments to identify barriers to innovation including one from NHTSA, two from the Federal Transit Administration to address autonomous bus technology and barriers and one from the Federal Highway Administration to address autonomous infrastructure technology. Chao said more are planned.”

Such “barriers” include the requirement for licensed human drivers to be present (amongst a great many other requirements).

In related news, GM just filed a request with the NHTSA that would see the auto manufacturer granted permission to deploy a limited number of self-driving taxis sans steering wheels, brake pedals, and human drivers. Chao noted in hater recent comments that she would “review the request and give it responsible and careful consideration.”

 
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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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