Feds’ Self-Driving Car Policy Rife With Regulatory Blind Spots

By: Linda Chiem

January 10, 2020

“A lack of hard-line federal rules governing self-driving cars has left the private sector navigating blind spots in researching, developing and integrating automated vehicle technologies, which may hamper U.S. innovation and competitiveness and prompt Congress to fill the regulatory void, experts say.

The White House and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration unveiled their fourth autonomous vehicles policy on Wednesday, offering little regulatory clarity, while enumerating the federal government’s wish list for tackling safety, security, privacy, mobility and other concerns related to automated vehicle technologies.

‘When you’re dealing with something this significant and this revolutionary, to take the cautious approach and let things unfold a little bit before we jump in with a bunch of rules, regulations, requirements and restrictions, I like that approach,’ said Eric Kennedy, co-chair of Buchalter PC’s autonomous and intelligent systems and automotive industry practice groups. ‘Maybe I have too much trust or faith in tech, but I honestly believe that everyone wants what’s best. It doesn’t do any of the manufacturers … [any good] to put out a product that’s not as safe as it could possibly be.'”

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