Buttigieg: Congressional action needed to expand autonomous vehicle deployment


“We are likely to regulate or guarantee the safety of the design of the auto, and the point out DMVs are worried with the driver,” he claimed. “That framework helps make perception until eventually you have a scenario wherever the car or truck is the driver. I really don’t know how we can deal with some of these issues without the need of the involvement of Congress.”

In reaction to a question from Sen. Todd Younger, R-Ind., on what the Transportation Department is carrying out to assist far more widespread screening and deployment of AVs, Buttigieg reported it is applying NHTSA’s statutory authority to let the deployment of autos that would be exempt from Federal Motor Car Basic safety Specifications.

NHTSA can authorize up to 2,500 motor vehicle exemptions for every 12 months for two years, or 5,000 for every applicant. The company granted its initially exemption to AV startup Nuro during the Trump administration. Normal Motors and its self-driving unit Cruise also formally petitioned NHTSA in February for an exemption, which is pending, to deploy the Cruise Origin.

“We have much more exemptions that have been requested and are functioning immediately to address these mainly because we do want to see the variety of analysis, development and screening carry on,” Buttigieg reported.

Last 7 days, 12 Senate Democrats despatched a letter to Buttigieg urging the Transportation Office to create a thorough framework for AVs.

“The federal government has the opportunity and obligation to foster a domestic [AV] sector that is as secure as it is progressive, and that provides substantial-quality careers across the overall economy, which includes in transportation. … Nonetheless, we lag behind in shaping a regulatory framework that will foster this innovation,” wrote the senators, led by Gary Peters of Michigan, who also is a member of the Commerce Committee.

In reaction to a concern from Peters for the duration of the listening to, Buttigieg reported the department needs to “operate with Congress to have a legislative framework that sufficiently contemplates these types of autos getting a lot more prevalent.”

Earlier makes an attempt by Congress to pass bipartisan laws governing AVs have stalled, leaving builders and other stakeholders to navigate a patchwork of point out and neighborhood legislation.

As of nevertheless, there is no federal regulation regulating AVs.

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