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U.S. advances self-driving car legislation to ensure technological status

by:Yisheng      2021-06-07

According to foreign media reports, two U.S. senators are working to promote a bipartisan-supported bill. Automakers may deploy tens of thousands of autonomous vehicles on U.S. roads in the future. This is a major reform that will Help accelerate the commercial application of self-driving cars.



Democratic Senator Gary Peters


U.S. Democratic Senator Gary Peters and Republican Senator John Thune issued a draft amendment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will have the power to make each automaker’s 15,000 auto Driving a car is free from the restrictions of the safety standards related to human drivers. Within three years, this number will rise to 80,000 vehicles. Four years later, automakers may require NHTSA to extend the exemption to more than 80,000 vehicles. The amendment will also allow self-driving companies to remove human control of car driving when in fully autonomous driving mode.


The bill stated: 'The field of autonomous vehicles is a global market opportunity, valued at approximately US$8 trillion. However, the United States is at risk of losing its position as a technological leader in the field of autonomous vehicles, unless it targets China and other competitors Enact policies to protect its leading position.” The two senators hope that this amendment will be approved by the Senate Commerce Committee on April 28. On the same day, the committee will discuss a bill to allocate 100 billion US dollars for technology research and development, aimed at maintaining competitiveness relative to China.


Peters is the chairman of the subsidiary committee that oversees NHTSA. He said in a statement: “This amendment will ensure that innovation and testing around autonomous vehicles can continue to operate safely under the supervision of the transportation department.” Thune The statement stated: “If the automotive industry is provided with the tools they need to safely test and deploy autonomous vehicles across the country, it will create thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars in investment, not to mention that autonomous vehicles have The potential provides many benefits in terms of safety.” Thune and Peters have spent four years getting approval from Congress to make it easier to deploy autonomous vehicles in the United States.



Republican Senator John Thune


But this bill has been facing opposition from organizations such as the American Association for Justice. The defense attorney represented by the American Judicial Association believes that this bill cannot adequately protect the rights of consumers. The American Judicial Association sent a letter to the Senate stating that any bill 'must include the preservation of the existing rights of American citizens and the right to file a lawsuit in public courts, which will incentivize companies to act in the interests of public safety, and this is particularly true in an emerging market.' Important because in this market, the technology is still very new and basically untested.'


Thune said that opponents “should understand that our amendment is used to strengthen the technological leadership of the United States to ensure that we are ahead of China in the development, production and deployment of autonomous vehicles.”


General Motors, Alphabet’s self-driving unit Waymo, and other automakers have urged Congress to change the law for many years to promote the deployment of self-driving cars on American roads. The current law allows NHTSA to exempt 2,500 vehicles for each car manufacturer.


When this amendment was released, a series of traffic accidents involving Tesla's driver assistance system Autopilot occurred in the United States. Autopilot can achieve some driving tasks, but it cannot make the car drive autonomously.

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