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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.jpg
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.

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

gnipgnop

macrumors 68000
Feb 18, 2009
1,576
1,911
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.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,873
15,010
In between a rock and a hard place
I'm surprised that no special interests are opposing this.
As opposed to the special interest groups who are in favor of this.:rolleyes:
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.
 

KazKam

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2011
496
1,686
It's beginning.

In less years we'll be surprized how quickly autonomous vehicles took over.

I disagree. I believe it's going to take a lot longer than people think, and/or it's going to be a bloody (literally) mess.

The problem is that regardless of how quickly truly autonomous vehicles come to market, we're going to be in a mixed autonomous/manual/everything in-between environment for a very long time, and that's a recipe for disaster.
 

919873

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
5,968
6,831
I have bittersweet feelings about autonomous vehicles.

On the one hand, I love the tech, and think that it will be the future of transportation. But, on the other hand it makes me sad.

I love driving, and I love cars. Maybe one day, having to give up control of driving to a computerized chauffeur would take all the fun and thrill out of owning a car. It then might be like owning a refrigerator or a toaster, just purely utilitarian. Also, not being able to teach my future grandchildren about cars makes me kind of sad.
 

Orlandoech

macrumors 68040
Jun 2, 2011
3,341
886
Not surprising. Apple lobbying at its finest... I bet those politicians got a nice envelope full of cash.
 
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foodog

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2006
910
37
Atlanta, GA
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.

They are a lot more prepared to drive than most drivers on the roads in Atlanta.
 

nt5672

macrumors 68020
Jun 30, 2007
2,398
5,143
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.

In addition, for each car they are testing, they should be required to post a bond to cover any injuries cause by the test.
 

Markoth

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2015
490
1,399
Behind You
Even the worst autonomous vehicles drive better than your average American driver.
I wouldn't say we're quite there yet, but just about. There's no question that the sky's the limit with the sort of improvements we can expect from self-driving cars over the years in terms of safety, time savings, mileage, etc, but I'd say that it's still a decade or so out before we can conclude that they're safer in general.
 

foodog

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2006
910
37
Atlanta, GA
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. The average human has an accident every 165,000 miles 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. The average human has an accident every 165,000 miles though this is an old statistic... with distracted driving the numbers are getting worse.
 

WRChris

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2016
675
942
Indiana
I have bittersweet feelings about autonomous vehicles.

On the one hand, I love the tech, and think that it will be the future of transportation. But, on the other hand it makes me sad.

I love driving, and I love cars. Maybe one day, having to give up control of driving to a computerized chauffeur would take all the fun and thrill out of owning a car. It then might be like owning a refrigerator or a toaster, just purely utilitarian. Also, not being able to teach my future grandchildren about cars makes me kind of sad.
Keep your cars! You should have no problem teaching future generations about them. Autonomous cars or not, I will be driving until I can no longer safely drive. I hope I get hit by an Apple or whatever autonomous car. I will sue the hell out of the tech company.
 

Dwalls90

Contributor
Feb 5, 2009
5,225
3,504
Yet, god forbid, you go 72mph in a 65mph (speeding zones that haven't been re-evaluated in decades)
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,873
15,010
In between a rock and a hard place
Even the worst autonomous vehicles drive better than your average American driver.
This argument needs to die, especially when misapplied as support for less autonomous regulation/restriction. It makes no sense on any level. Even the most cursory examination of the logic used would indicate a failure of reasoning. Taking your assertion as fact, there's no thread to connect autonomous vehicles driving better than humans to less regulations being a good thing for anyone other than companies involved in autonomous vehicle tech.

The restrictions and regulations are there for the public safety. Half-assed tested tech on the road is a recipe for disaster. Strong regulations and restrictions won't impede the advent of autonomous vehicles. They will help ensure the vehicles that make it to the road are proven assets and not liabilities.

Are you telling me this doesn't scare the ever living crap out of you?
"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."

Basically, we can test and/or deploy vehicles on the road with the public by simply showing "our cars are self driving and they contain fail safe features". The features might be in alpha stage, but hey, Congress said we could do it.:rolleyes:
 
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KeanosMagicHat

macrumors 68000
May 18, 2012
1,546
544
I agree with the concerns others have expressed on the thread regarding easing safety restrictions on autonomous car market entry at the moment. If anything the standards should be higher until the tech is proven, but big business talks and governments that are supposed to protect and serve the electorate listen.

On another note, have they decided how the insurance market will work for these autonomous cars yet? If my car makes a mistake and rams someone else damaging their vehicle, I don't want to be held responsible.

If these vehicles are going to become more widespread on our roads, this needs to be agreed quickly.
 
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cmwade77

macrumors 65816
Nov 18, 2008
1,068
1,197
I'm pumped. Even if I only use it for driving in stop and go traffic, it will be a game changer for everyday life.
The problem is that automobile manufactures want to eliminate the steering wheel, gas and brake pedals completely, which poses A LOT of potential issues, including safety, privacy and a number of other concerns.
[doublepost=1500501088][/doublepost]
I agree with the concerns others have expressed on the thread regarding easing safety restrictions on autonomous car market entry at the moment. If anything the standards should be higher until the tech is proven, but big business talks and governments that are supposed to protect and serve the electorate listen.

On another note, have they decided how the insurance market will work for these autonomous cars yet? If my car makes a mistake and rams someone else damaging their vehicle, I don't want to be held responsible.

If these vehicles are going to become more widespread on our roads, this needs to be agreed quickly.
Basically if the vehicle has a steering wheel and brakes, then you are very clearly considered responsible as you could have overridden the system and took over. Where it becomes less clear is if there is no way for the driver to intervene.
 
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