Automakers and tech companies have asked for revised guidelines for next gen vehicle technology as well as for lowering of legal barriers to enable these cars to hit the road.
According to sources briefed on the matter at hand, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is likely to unveil the revised guidelines for autonomous self-driving vehicle next week, in response to growing calls by automakers to eliminate legal barriers for next generation vehicles.
A spokesman for Chao did not immediately respond to requests for comments.
On August 31, the White House Office of Management and Budget had approved the undisclosed revisions to the Transportation Department.
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a sweeping proposal to speed deployment of self-driving cars without human controls and bar states from blocking autonomous vehicles. The measure underscores automakers and tech companies calls to keep their pledges of getting self-driving cars on the market by 2020 or 2021.
The House measure will require automakers to provide regulators with safety assessment reports that were proposed in the 2016 self-driving guidelines, however it would not require pre-market approval of advanced vehicle technologies.
This has prompted consumer advocates for providing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration increased access to crash data and more funding to oversee self-driving cars.
Technological companies, including Alphabet Inc’s self-driving unit Waymo and General Motors Co, have requested easier federal rules for self-driving technology; consumer groups have however asked for more safeguards.
Earlier in September 2016, the Obama administration had issued guidelines for self-driving cars and had called on automakers to voluntarily submit details of self-driving vehicle systems in a 15-point “safety assessment” while urging states to defer to the federal government on most vehicle regulations.
Companies including, Tesla Inc, Waymo, Ford Motor Co, GM, Uber Technologies Inc, and others are aggressively pursuing automated vehicle technologies.