Congress to Issue Automated Car Fatwa Tomorrow

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Apparently, saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety doesn’t always come first!

A U.S. House subcommittee will vote on Wednesday on a sweeping proposal to allow automakers to deploy up to 100,000 self-driving vehicles without meeting existing auto safety standards and bar states from imposing autonomous car rules.

The measure, which would be the first significant federal legislation aimed at speeding self-driving cars to market, would require automakers to submit safety assessment reports to U.S. regulators, but would not require pre-market approval of advanced vehicle technologies.

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.

Last month, a U.S. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee held a hearing on a draft plan to allow U.S. regulators to exempt up to 100,000 vehicles a year per manufacturer from federal motor vehicle safety rules that prevent the sale of self-driving vehicles without human controls and bar states from setting rules that could block their use.

Automakers must meet nearly 75 auto safety standards, many of which were written with the assumption that a licensed driver will be in control of the vehicle.

The 30-page draft bill would also require the Transportation Department within two years to adopt rules requiring automakers to add a driver alert to check rear seating in an effort to prevent children from being left behind and consider setting performance standards for headlights.

“This legislation puts important benchmarks into place that will prioritize consumer safety technologies and enhance mobility opportunities for people across the country,” said Republican U.S. Representative Robert Latta, who chairs the panel that will vote on the measure Wednesday.

Democrats had sought a number of new safety requirements during negotiations over the measure. The bill also includes automakers to take steps to ensure the cybersecurity of self-driving cars.

General Motors, Alphabet Inc., Tesla Inc. and others have been lobbying Congress to pre-empt rules under consideration in California and other states that could limit self-driving vehicle deployment.

States could still set rules on registration, licensing, liability, insurance and safety inspections, but could not set self-driving car performance standards, under the proposal.

The administration of former President Barack Obama last year unveiled voluntary guidelines on self-driving cars that asked automakers to submit a 15-question safety assessment. President Donald Trump’s transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, said she plans to update those in the coming months.

The issue has taken new urgency after U.S. road deaths rose 7.7 percent in 2015 over the previous year to 35,200, the highest annual jump since 1966. Traffic deaths climbed nearly 8 percent in the first nine months of 2016, government data shows.

Automakers also say that without changes in regulations, U.S. self-driving car testing could move to Europe and elsewhere.


    • Hi Mark,

      I don’t like the hypocrisy… the way the government makes exceptions and carves out special perks for electric cars/automated cars.

      Note – not autonomous cars.

  1. Wonder if these self driving cars can repo themselves…… would be a mighty handy feature to have once shit hits the fan…….

  2. It’s likely self driving cars could increase the death rate during “testing”. We have self driving Tesla’s that can’t see the sides of tractor trailers! If you can’t see that, there is no reason for that to be on the road.

    This testing, even if its a complete disaster will be used: to ban human drivers. They are going to force this tech on us all long before it ready for prime time.

    • mith, same song different verse. It’s control, nothing more or less and another step to complete control.
      I had a big fight with the power company in 04 about(oh, they made a special case of me)digital meters. Mine is 250 feet from the house and has a baler parked in front of it. Does that make me feel better? Not to any satisfying degree. It still exists and records every little thing done in real time, every time a pump comes on, a light of what type, a compressor of what type, a welder, etc.

      Is it building a “case” against me? Oh, they certainly hope so if they could only figure out what that case is. It’s not enough so they fly airplanes over us…..very discreetly(not)of course. A white one, the norm for a while and then a black one just so you(me)could see it wasn’t the same plane. A couple weeks ago it was a black and white helicopter. Last Thurs. 11 am the chopper was back, discreetly of course, with some huge engine sized to it rarely heard except for “special” craft. Then it was from another direction with a different turn 7:30 am Monday morning and then 6 pm yesterday, different flight path.

      How obvious is it? About like the smart meter fight. My neighbor lives on a high hill which they always use either coming or going. He said it wasn’t hard to tell what the planes were doing since they’d use that hill to go a couple miles from him where I can’t see, then alter their course and come back for another pass.

      After we got raided for the 4th time in 13 years last year my wife has finally quit saying I’m paranoid. Geez, Louise, what does it take to convince you? And last year I was accused of having a bunker. No shit, a bunker. Too bad I don’t have on I told them, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I’d be in it chilling out where the a/c doesn’t have to run 24/7. And why were they here? On a rumor from my ex-boss’s ex-wife up on 5 felony charges, a veritable fount of truth.

      Why me? You go back to the honeyhole or the bear’s den or wherever when you’re a predator. Since they got the farm on an illegal search and un-Consitutional law 14 years ago they want to do it again. It pays and everybody gets a cut…..from us, and no matter even if they don’t get it although that’s the main basis. It’s done many times every day all over the country. The Donald is high on asset forfeiture regardless of it being outright theft with no crime involved. What a great country eh? Nixon, they’ll never quit imitating you. You had no morals and were just what the country needed at the time.. After all, you followed a Democrat who didn’t even know the meaning of “moral” and by god, you one upped him. It’s been every prez’s goal ever since to outdo the last one and so far, in the outlaw aspect of govt., nobody’s been disappointed……eh Hillary? Bill? Shrub? Obamer? Trump? Cue Lee. Lets all stand up and sing.


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