11/14/2019

Senate Hearing to Examine Rules for Robo-Cars

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A U.S. Senate hearing on Nov. 20 will grapple with rules governing the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles.

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A U.S. Senate hearing on Nov. 20 will grapple with rules governing the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles.

The Commerce Committee hearing will feature top government safety officials, including the heads of the National Transportation Safety Board and National Highway traffic Safety Administration, Reuters reports.

Congress has struggled for more than two years over the question of reworking federal regulations to allow completely robotic cars to use public roads. Current rules, for example, prohibit vehicles that lack a steering wheel and foot pedals to enable human control, even if the car is controlled automatically under all conditions.

NHTSA still hasn’t ruled on a petition filed nearly two years ago by General Motors Co. that would waive the human controls requirement. Regulators have fretted over the dilemma of protecting public safety without impeding the development of full autonomous vehicles that could dramatically reduce traffic injuries and fatalities.