Daily Report for Executives provides in-depth coverage of unfolding legislative, regulatory, and judicial news from the nation’s capital, the states, and around the world. This daily news service...
June 29 — There is no firm target date for the Transportation Department to issue industry guidelines on the deployment of autonomous cars—anticipated to happen sometime this summer—because of the heavy scrutiny they will need to undergo before public release, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.
During a pen-and-pad briefing with reporters June 29, Foxx said he was reluctant to provide a specific time line for the release of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) guidance on automated cars, but noted that he plans to spend “a little while” reviewing the document beforehand. In particular, he said he would like to see the guidelines establish parameters for federal and state officials to work together to determine when software installed in self-driving cars might reach the level where a licensed driver would no longer be required.
Earlier this year, NHTSA sent a letter to autonomous carmaker Google clarifying that software that controls the company's self-driving cars could be considered a driver. But some states, such as California, are considering proposals to require a licensed driver in autonomous cars.
The industry guidance should establish lanes for NHTSA and federal regulators to develop policy around this issue without running over each other, Foxx said. Currently NHTSA approves only the physical car, but there is the emerging question of whether the agency should “expand its rigors” to include evaluating the software involved in autonomous cars, he said.
“We recognize that there are aspects of autonomous vehicles that we will learn more about as time goes on, so there is a need to get as exact as we can without overdoing it, leaving room for things to evolve more,” he said. “So I might say that we are crafting a declaration of independence, in a way. We're not crafting the Constitution. At this point, what we're trying to do is lay a frame that the structure can be built on as time goes forward.”
Many autonomous car models under development rely on equipment powered by wireless spectrum. Foxx said that new vehicle technologies such as connected cars could have tremendous safety benefits, but that industry would need to make sure that the cars could effectively communicate with each other, as well as with connected infrastructure. The Transportation Department is thrusting itself toward the future, but it must have help from industry, he said.
NHTSA submitted to the Office of Management and Budget a draft notice of proposed regulations to require vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) equipment on all new cars and light trucks. The agency's top research and technology official recently said NHTSA planned to work closely with industry groups to sharpen its expertise on some of the privacy and security issues that could arise as automated and connected cars are deployed to the U.S. market (See previous story, 03/30/16).
To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Beasley in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Heather Rothman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)