New Legislation To Open The Door For Self-Driving Cars

Self-Driving Model X

JUL 5 2017 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 26

Self-Driving Cars

A self-driving Model X with new enhanced hardware was demonstrated by Tesla in October

If the House Republicans’ new legislation passes, state and local lawmakers won’t have the ability to govern autonomous vehicle design, testing, and deployment.

A 45-page draft comprised of 14 new bills would officially put the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in charge of all regulations regarding self-driving cars. The only duties left to states would be to decide on insurance and registration specifics.

One bill in particular would force the Department of Transportation to allow 100,000 vehicles to be free of federal vehicle safety rules. This means that rules stating that autonomous cars must have a steering wheel, pedals, and traditional human controls, would not be enforced for those 100,000 approved vehicles.

Chevrolet Bolt EV autonomous test vehicles are assembled at General Motors Orion Assembly in Orion Township, Michigan. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for General Motors)

If this legislation passes, self-driving automakers like General Motors (Cruise Automation), Waymo, Uber, and Tesla, among others, would be able to move forward much faster with testing and putting fully autonomous vehicles on public roads, as well as in the hands of consumers. At this point, several states including New York and California are working to push back the deployment of self-driving cars. If these bills become law, those states won’t have any say.

This all goes along with the Trump administration’s aim to put less burden on businesses and innovators. U.S. Representative Bob Latta explained that the package is:

“An important step in establishing a framework to allow innovators to safely develop and test autonomous vehicles.”

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers are also in support of the legislation. Group leader, Mitch Bainwol, asked Congress to remove burdens caused by state and local laws that:

“unduly burden or restrict the use of self-driving vehicles in the future.”

Elaine Chao, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation agreed. She shared:

“We don’t want rules that impede future technological advances.”

It will be quite a while before this new legislation is beyond the draft stages and at the point that it can move to reality. But, with a Republican administration, and support from many sides, along with a push toward increased deregulation, we should see it move forward in some form in the future.

Source: Reuters via Teslarati/NextMobility

Categories: General, Tesla

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26 Comments on "New Legislation To Open The Door For Self-Driving Cars"

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Chris O
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Chris O

“We don’t want rules that impede future technological advances.”

Words to live by. Now how about ending state control about what type retail model carmakers need to use, effectively forcing EV makers to adopt a retail model designed around the maintenance needs of traditional cars and forcing the services of sales people that would rather sell traditional cars?

That sort of rules are also major impediments of technological advances.

Trump is not too popular, this one would score big time as the franchise dealer’s racketeering scheme is wildly unpopular and will be even more as ever more people interested in Model 3 will learn the truth about the reason why it’s not available in their state.

Pushmi-Pullyu
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Pushmi-Pullyu

Definitely a step in the right direction.

We certainly don’t want or need 50 different States creating 50 different sets of regulations for self-driving cars! Nor do we want a situation where a car made in one State can’t be sold (or driven) in another.

Dav8or
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Dav8or

Yeah, we should just get rid of the states altogether. Too many different laws across the land. Just one big all encompassing government to run everything and control everything is what we need. We’re all Americans and think exactly alike from coast to coast, so why do we need these artificial barriers? Think of the efficiencies!

Mark.ca
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Mark.ca

We should stop pretending we are a country, right Dav?

Scramjett
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Scramjett

I seem to recall one of my former work managers telling me that a Soviet KGB analyst back in the 80’s predicted that the US would fracture into several different smaller countries by 2010. His timing may be off, but we do seem to be headed that way don’t you think?

Pushmi-Pullyu
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Pushmi-Pullyu

“We’re all Americans and think exactly alike from coast to coast, so why do we need these artificial barriers? Think of the efficiencies!”

Thank goodness very few Americans think like the few Tesla hating trolls here… including you.

I hope you don’t actually believe any of the hateful nonsense you posted. If you do, then your teachers at school failed you. You should have learned that the reason the U.S. Constitution gives the Federal Government the power to regulate interstate commerce is in order to promote interstate commerce. You, apparently, think it should be drowned in a bathtub.

Empire State
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Empire State

There does seem to be some conflict between the various regulations pronounced, applied, and upheld regarding personal vehicle mobility in the country. Perhaps one has to interpret the Secretary’s statement carefully in order to make sense of the dealership restriction on commerce here…
“We don’t want rules that impede future technological advances.”
While rules impeding FUTURE technological advances are to be avoided, those rules impeding the acceptance and progress of CURRENT, PROVEN, and AVAILABLE technological advances in the market are just fine.

pjwood1
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pjwood1

Yipes. I’d worry about the wrong direction. “Regulatory Capture” is the biggest threat to NHTSA, by either cash-rich Silicon Valley, or the anti-competitive AAM lobby. Take your pick.
Just as we should want states to retain some independent control of pollution rules, we should want safety to have more than one, potentially paid-off, federal steward.

I don’t feel the federal government exists to pre-empt states, like this. We already know what’s behind “One” strategies against CARB. The safety of a car shouldn’t be off limits, for a state. Too many examples. Look at EU authority, and the powerlessness European nations have had at dealing with VW.

Assaf
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Assaf

+1

Scramjett
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Scramjett

+2

Glad to see someone is as alarmed over this as I am.

It’s all accolades above, even with historically anti-Trump folks.

Dragon
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Dragon

+3
There’s definitely an ulterior motive. My guess is NHTSA will mysteriously hound, investigate, and penalize EV makers while letting self-driving ICE cars roam free.

Pushmi-Pullyu
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Pushmi-Pullyu

“Just as we should want states to retain some independent control of pollution rules, we should want safety to have more than one, potentially paid-off, federal steward.”

Hmmm, somebody has really drunk the anti-Federal Kool-Aid!

So, you’re advocating we should abandon the Federal standards for crash testing, air bags and seat belts, etc. in cars? You’re arguing that each State should set its own standards?

What’s next? Will you also advocate we should go back to the pre-federal system of roads which we had before the national highway system, where roads and highways often ended at State borders and it was nearly impossible to drive long distances in any direction?

Thank goodness for the Federal Clean Air and Water Act enforcing uniform standards across the country. Thank goodness for the Federal and Interstate highway systems. And thank goodness we have Federal control of crash testing and other safety mandates for automobiles.

There are areas where it makes sense for the various States to set their own standards. But safety standards for automobiles, which after all are intended to allow travel from one State to another, certainly shouldn’t be one of those areas.

FISHEV
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FISHEV

“We don’t want rules that impede future technological advances.”

Like the CA lead “CARB” state’s rules on emissions and EV adoption which the GOP opposes. So the same rules the GOP is using for autonomous driving they want to use to stop CA/CARB states from imposing pro-climate, pro-EV rules.

GOP is OK with autonomous cars as along as they are run on fossil fuels and pollute. So much for “future technologies”.

That is one of the big Supreme Court rulings which the majority GOP ant-science Court has to make, can states impose pro-science regulations when the Federal government wants anti-science “deregulation”.

pjwood1
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pjwood1

This is an issue that might expose two side inside Trump’s Admin. Bannon, and conceivably Gorsuch (SCOTUS) wants to “deconstruct the administrative state”, while more typical Trump, plus establishment republicans would regulate-in federal business protections.

I think the Commerce Clause is the veil the establishment might try and use, to keep states from gumming up car production. I believe it is ultimately why no CARB state, past CA, has been allowed more than the ability to follow CA rules. Gorsuch/Bannon hate federal rules, in general. So, maybe tough to tell how a lawsuit would do. I could see AAM working the red states and Silicon Valley the blue ones. So, perhaps voters don’t have no a chance, or will be consumed by more important things, like voter fraud. /sarc

pjwood1
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pjwood1

…perhaps voters don’t have a chance (no lawsuit)…

Scramjett
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Scramjett

I’ve observed that Repubs want state rule for Red states and Federal rule (as long as they’re in control of the Feds) for Blue states.

Pushmi-Pullyu
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Pushmi-Pullyu

Bingo.

Assaf
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Assaf
Note to author and editor: Please don’t start filling the site with puff pieces extolling Trump et al.’s virtues. In particular, please don’t write a statement like “the Trump administration’s aim to put less burden on businesses and innovators” without quotation marks, as if it was some objective fact. Innovators in the renewable-energy field will beg to differ that the Trump administration is so friendly to innovation. Businesses that thrive on foreign tourism (like my wife’s) will call foul at the notion that this Admin’s “aim” is to burden them less, seeing as its “F**k the Non-White” approach to tourism and immigration has cut down tourism to the US by a full one-third. Businesses requiring seasonal foreign labor will scream bloody murder at that statement, seeing as the Admin’s clampdown on seasonal foreign labor is literally shutting them down for the summer. That’s regarding this particular specific statement. More generally, given this Administration’s lack of respect to basic facts, in particular scientific and technological facts, and its ridiculous incompetence in passing any useful legislation or regulation, even in the extremely rare occasion when it does want to do something beneficial – – Please keep puff pieces like this to yourselves,… Read more »
Scramjett
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Scramjett

Well said. I couldn’t agree more.

AlphaEdge
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AlphaEdge

> In particular, please don’t write a statement like “the Trump administration’s aim to put less burden on businesses and innovators” without quotation marks, as if it was some objective fact.

> Innovators in the renewable-energy field will beg to differ that the Trump administration is so friendly to innovation.

LOL! You win best post of the day.

Telling them they should include a non-fact opinion in quotes followed by your own opinion not in quotes.

menorman
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menorman

This all goes along with the Trump administration’s aim to put less burden on businesses and innovators.

No, this goes with the Republican tendency to usurp control of regulations that their biggest donors don’t like. Reference the recent bills in places like Alabama and Missouri that negated municipal-level minimum wage hikes at the state level among the numerous examples.

Scramjett
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Scramjett

+1

pjwood1
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pjwood1
Scramjett
Guest
Scramjett

Well that’s not troubling at all!

Assaf
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Assaf

On more thing… I wonder where the famous Republican love for “States’ Rights” has disappeared to?

Apparently, that phrase has always been code for “States’ rights to screw over brown-skinned people”.

On any other topic, as far as Republicans are concerned, when they’re in control of the Federal government states might as well cease to exist.

Scramjett
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Scramjett

Basically yes, though I’d argue it tends to be “State’s rights for Red States.” But, given the current geopolitical make up, what I said and what you said is certainly synonymous.

What’s really scary is the GOP is well on their way towards controlling nearly 3/4’s of the states. You can bet ALEC is licking their chops at the opportunity for a Constitutional Convention. You can bet that whatever gets them excited is bad for the rest of us!