U.S. House Committee Unanimously Approves Measure to Ease Restrictions on Autonomous Vehicles

A United States House panel this morning unanimously approved a proposal that would allow car manufacturers to deploy tens of thousands of autonomous vehicles without adhering to existing auto safety standards, reports Reuters. The legislation would also ban states from implementing and enforcing some driverless car rules as regulators work to create improved federal safety standards for autonomous driving.

Under the terms of the proposal, automakers would be required to submit safety assessment reports to United States regulators, but pre-market approval of autonomous vehicles would not be required.

Automakers would have to show self-driving cars "function as intended and contain fail safe features" but the Transportation Department could not "condition deployment or testing of highly automated vehicles on review of safety assessment certifications," the draft measure unveiled late Monday said.

Companies working on autonomous vehicles, including General Motors, Alphabet, Ford, and Tesla, have been lobbying Congress to pass a federal measure that would pre-empt rules being considered in California and other states that would limit the deployment of self-driving vehicles. The measure preliminarily approved today would let manufacturers subvert the rule requiring autonomous cars to have driver controls, and it would prevent states from setting self-driving car standards for software and safety systems.

appleautonomousvehicle

One of the Lexus vehicles Apple uses to test its autonomous driving software

The measure was updated last week to add a directive that would require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to draft new rules for autonomous vehicles within 18 months, but consumer advocacy groups say that the bill needs tweaking to ensure that automakers prioritize safety and do not put consumers at greater risk of a crash.

Apple has its own autonomous driving software in development and would benefit from the relaxed regulations should the bill be passed. Apple has previously asked the California DMV to re-evaluate some of its rules, including those requiring companies to provide detailed public reports about testing variables and results.

Apple CEO Tim Cook in June said Apple considers its work on autonomous driving systems as "the mother of all AI projects." Apple is currently testing its software in several Lexus RX450h vehicles that are equipped with a host of sensors and cameras.

The full committee could vote on the measure as soon as next week, but the U.S. House of Representatives will not consider the bill until it reconvenes in September after the summer recess. Representative Robert Latta, who leads the Energy and Commerce Committee subcomittee overseeing consumer protection, plans to continue considering changes ahead of the full committee vote.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Top Rated Comments

69Mustang Avatar
59 months ago
We've introduced some dumb legislation in the past. Add this to the list. SMH. It should be hard as hell to get autonomous vehicles on the road. Making it easy is just stupid and irresponsible. Sweet jeebus.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
garirry Avatar
59 months ago
We've introduced some dumb legislation in the past. Add this to the list. SMH. It should be hard as hell to get autonomous vehicles on the road. Making it easy is just stupid and irresponsible. Sweet jeebus.
Even the worst autonomous vehicles drive better than your average American driver.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnipgnop Avatar
59 months ago
And then the next step will be asking Congress to change traffic rules, and liability rules, and add special lanes for self-driving cars etc., etc. The tech companies know these cars aren't even close to being ready for prime time, thus all the lobbying for special treatment and not having to meet safety standards etc.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Amazing Iceman Avatar
59 months ago
For starters, Automated Vehicles are not prone to develop Road Rage, don't drink and drive, and don't text and drive.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
foodog Avatar
59 months ago
Proof? Also, this will be a case in which the distinction between the median and the mean is important (the median driver is much better than the mean driver).
Why not do a search for the safety record of Google's cars... As of May 2015 Google logged 1.8 million miles driven, involved in 12 accidents, all human caused ('https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//selfdrivingcar/files/reports/report-0515.pdf'). The average human has an accident every 165,000 miles ('http://mashable.com/2012/08/07/google-driverless-cars-safer-than-you/#puRImBRhcgqa')though this is an old statistic... with distracted driving the numbers are getting worse.
This is why I don't trust the federal government. There is absolutely no reason autonomous cars should not meet current safety standards. And there is no reason these cars should be on the street if there are no safety standards specifically for autonomous cars.

The first thing these companies should do is write and get approved the safety standards they want to be managed to, not just fail to care if a few of us non-essential citizens are killed during their tests.
Current safety standards don't apply to a car not being driven by a human.... they aren't talking about removing safety glass or driving on bald tires without brakes.
[doublepost=1500499866][/doublepost]
Proof? Also, this will be a case in which the distinction between the median and the mean is important (the median driver is much better than the mean driver).
Why not do a search for the safety record of Google's cars... As of May 2015 Google logged 1.8 million miles driven, involved in 12 accidents, all human caused ('https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//selfdrivingcar/files/reports/report-0515.pdf'). The average human has an accident every 165,000 miles ('http://mashable.com/2012/08/07/google-driverless-cars-safer-than-you/#puRImBRhcgqa')though this is an old statistic... with distracted driving the numbers are getting worse.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
meaning-matters Avatar
59 months ago
It's beginning.

In less years we'll be surprized how quickly autonomous vehicles took over.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
iphone 13 earpods

Apple to Stop Including EarPods With Every iPhone Sold in France From Next Week

Friday January 21, 2022 3:21 am PST by
Apple will no longer include EarPods with every iPhone sold in France, starting on January 24, according to a notice posted by a French carrier (via iGeneration). Apple was previously required to include EarPods in the box with the iPhone due to a French law that required every smartphone sold in the country to come with a "handsfree kit," but the law has now been changed in favor of reducing the ...
peloton tv workout cardio

Apple Floated as Potential Buyer of Peloton

Friday January 21, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business. Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a ...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how the company strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...
Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman say that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Max), an updated low-end MacBook Pro, a...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Apple Watch Charging Bug Fixed in watchOS 8.4 Release Candidate

Thursday January 20, 2022 4:01 pm PST by
The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch. Back in December, we reported on a growing number of charging issues that Apple Watch Series 7 owners were facing. Since watchOS 8.3, there have been a number of complaints about...
safari icon blue banner

macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 Release Candidates Fix Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Thursday January 20, 2022 1:30 pm PST by
The macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 release candidates that came out today appear to address a Safari bug that could cause your recent browsing history and details about your identity to be leaked to malicious entities. As shared last week by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS, there is an issue with the WebKit implementation of the IndexedDB JavaScript API. Any website that uses...
apple college discounts

Apple Walks Back UNiDAYS Verification Requirement for U.S. Education Store

Friday January 21, 2022 12:43 pm PST by
Earlier this week, Apple began requiring that customers taking advantage of educational discounts in the United States verify their status as a teacher, student, or school staff member through UNiDAYS. The requirement was a major change as Apple had never asked customers to go through a verification process in the United States before, and now, just three days after verification was added,...