Safety Advocates Urge Congress to Go Slow on Driverless Cars - Bloomberg

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Latta said federal regulators should continue to oversee vehicle safety, not states, a key request of automakers and technology companies worried about the emerging patchwork of state-level self-driving car rules. He also signaled that the draft proposals will change.

The proposals under consideration by lawmakers have been largely praised by trade groups for automakers, which have called for the federal government to take the lead and regulate with a light touch. But safety and consumer advocates expressed concern about self-driving cars hitting the road in larger numbers without a framework to evaluate safety.

"We think that before automated vehicles are put on the roads, they should be required to go through a functional safety evaluation," Cathy Chase, vice president of governmental affairs for Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, said in an interview before the hearing. "We think that’s a very basic precursor."

Chase said her group plans to submit written comments to the subcommittee.

MoBikeFed comment: The Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation was one of 27 organization that signed on to the letter mentioned in this article, which was submitted to Congress recently.

The letter has touched off a very public debate about the safety of autonomous vehicle technology--particularly in regard to its ability to detect people who walk and bicycle.

We are devoted to ensuring the safety of these new vehicles for people who walk and bicycle before they are rolled out onto our public streets.

This technology has great promise for providing greater safety for all road users.

But that promise has not yet been realized. We should not allow vehicles on the road that are a danger to current transportation system users.

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