US Consumer Groups Warn ‘Robot Car Bill’ Threatens Safety

“If you don’t place a Capable Engineering crew to oversee a project that involves lives, you’re asking for trouble,” writes Slashdot reader Neuronwelder. Consumer Reports writes:
Congress is moving ahead with plans to let self-driving cars be tested on U.S. roads without having to comply with the same safety rules as regular vehicles… The House passed its version of the legislation earlier this month with little opposition. The Senate is expected to vote on its bill in the coming weeks… “Federal law shouldn’t leave consumers as guinea pigs,” said William Wallace, policy analyst for Consumers Union. “We were hopeful that this bill would include much stronger measures to protect consumers against known emerging safety risks. Unfortunately, in the bill’s current form, it doesn’t.”
The legislation, which would take effect in 18 months, would allow the deployment of up to 50,000 self-driving vehicles per company in the first year of its application, rising to 100,000 vehicles annually by the third year, exempt from essential federal safety standards… Automakers might be able to go beyond the limits by getting exemptions for more than one model. The bill also creates a means to go beyond 100,000 cars for each company, by allowing automakers to petition the NHTSA after five years for more vehicles.
“The bill pre-empts any state safety standards,” argues the group Consumer Watchdog, “but there are none yet in place at the national level.”

Share on Google+

of this story at Slashdot.


Posted in Uncategorized