Auto Manufacturers Want to Test More Driverless Cars on The Road

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【Summary】Automakers and technology companies want Congress to allow them to expand the number of autonomous vehicles they can put on the road.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jun 25, 2017 9:30 AM PT
Auto Manufacturers Want to Test More Driverless Cars on The Road

At the moment, it seems like every automaker and technology company has hundreds of autonomous cars on the road. While that seems like the case, automakers want Congress to give them the ability to test more driverless cars on the road. 

More Cars Means Quicker Results

According to Bloomberg, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration allows tech companies and automakers to test autonomous vehicles on certain conditions. Automakers and companies can test vehicles that don't comply with the exact letter of the law under specific exemptions, including testing new safety features and testing vehicles that don't meet specific safety requirements, but surpass the overall safety of conventional cars, reports the outlet. 

Both exemptions, though, only allow for a total of 2,500 vehicles to be tested per year, claims Bloomberg. While that may seem like a large number, with the massive amount of automakers and companies testing driverless vehicles in the U.S., that figure has become something of a headache. 

As Bloomberg reports, citing testimony from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers at a Senate hearing last week, automakers are now asking Congress for permission to extend the cap on how many autonomous vehicles can be deployed on America's roads. 

That isn't the only thing automakers and companies are asking Congress for, though, as the report states that the they are requesting the government to explicate state and federal oversight roles and require regulators to update vehicle regulations that require a human driver to behind the wheel of a vehicle. 

"Members of the Auto Alliance share the belief that lives could be lost and that safety improvements will be delayed without your help," said Mitch Bainwol, chief executive officer of the Manufacturers' Alliance, which is comprised of various automakers, including Ford, General Motors, and Toyota. 

"As we meet today, the U.S. lacks a critical uniform national framework to advance these technologies," said Bainwol in his testimony earlier last week to the Senate Commerce committee. 

States Taking Charge Scares Automakers

Automakers and companies are starting to get a little worried as states take control over how autonomous cars can test in states. Wisconsin, for instance, just allowed companies and automakers to test driverless vehicles without a human in the car. New York has also allowed self-driving cars to test in the state, with Audi set to become the first

Bloomberg reports that developers looking to create self-driving cars want the federal government to take more action. Rob Csongor, vice president of Nvidia Corporation's automotive business, stated that a patchwork of state self-driving car laws is hindering development in a prepared testimony for the hearing.  

"It would be enormously beneficial to have a unified set of regulations across all states," said Csongor. 

As Bloomberg states, 18 states have passed some sort of self-driving-legislation recently, with more than 30 states having introduced a driverless car bill in 2017, citing the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

With automakers and companies looking for the federal government to get more involved in autonomous vehicles, it's only a matter of time until the U.S. takes a more hands-on approach to driverless cars, like Britain

via: Bloomberg

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