In a recent blog post, Seegrid’s CEO, Jim Rock, discussed how the new federal guidelines for driverless autonomous vehicles will impact innovation. Because the guidelines will not vary from state to state, this is a gift for automation innovators because it means adhering to just one national standard as opposed to trying to navigate 50 disparate sets of regulations. The major tech and auto players agree that state and local governments should support the federal guidelines:
- Google, Uber and Lyft, through a trade association in which they are members, also hailed the guidelines. “State and local governments also have complementary responsibilities and should work with the federal government to achieve and maintain our status as world leaders in innovation,” said David Strickland, general counsel for the trade group, Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets. –New York Times
- Ford, which is targeting fully autonomous vehicles by 2021 for ride-sharing, said in a statement that the guidance “will help establish the basis for a national framework that enables the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles. We also look forward to collaborating with states on areas that complement this national framework.” –New York Times
- Honda’s (HMC) American Honda said it “welcomes NHTSA’s leadership in providing federal guidance regarding on-road usage of connected and automated vehicles. Nationwide consideration of this guidance will help avoid a patchwork of differing state regulations and enable all automakers to continue rapid advancement of ongoing research in this area. Ultimately, this will bring these safety and convenience technologies to market more quickly for consumers.” –Fox Business
Rock added, “We predict that the same scenario will play out when it comes to regulations for driverless automobiles. The regulations passed down by the Department of Transportation are a clarion call for the driverless industry. Regulations from the top down aim to ensure safety and not prohibit innovation. Those hoping to lead us into the future have a right to be skeptical of restrictions. But the burden of proof is on developers. Just as regulations adjusted over time within the manufacturing industry so, too, will they develop, evolve and hopefully improve the relationship between automated robot and the humans that create them.”
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