Chao to Make Self-Driving Vehicle Announcement Next Week

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By Michaela Ross

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao will make an announcement regarding autonomous vehicles Sept. 12 at the University of Michigan, according to a Sept. 7 press release from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The secretary will announce updates to self-driving vehicle guidelines introduced by the Obama administration last year, three private industry sources who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss it told Bloomberg BNA. The Office of Management and Budget completed its review of the voluntary guidelines Aug. 31, which is the last step before agency publication. The technology is being developed by companies including Lyft Inc. and Tesla Inc.

Transportation’s original autonomous vehicle policy, released in September 2016, asked companies to voluntarily submit a safety assessment letter and share crash data when testing autonomous vehicles. It also included a model framework for states developing self-driving vehicle policies and rules.

The U.S. House of Representatives Sept. 6 passed H.R. 3388, which would set the first national regulatory framework for autonomous vehicles. A draft bill covering many of the same principles could be unveiled by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) as early as this week, Thune told reporters after the House vote.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at

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