The US Transport Department will revise its rules for autnomous technology after holding discussions with automakers and members of the public, in order to remove bottlenecks from the system.
US transportation regulators plan to take another step toward rewriting federal rules hampering the development and adoption of autonomous technologies – from cars and trucks to buses and trains.
Department agencies will issue additional requests for comment to gather input from companies and the public on what rules affecting transport should change or be eliminated, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a media interview. The move comes in addition to four requests for public comment released last week as highway, auto and transit regulators try to cast aside roadblocks to new advancements in transportation.
“The government has so many barriers. It’s a bureaucracy,” Chao said on the sidelines of the Detroit auto show. “We’re looking at what are duplicate, what bottlenecks are holding up the processing of innovation.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week asked for comment on ‘unnecessary regulatory barriers’ for self-driving vehicles and how their safety should be tested and certified. The Federal Transit Administration is also looking for feedback on two fronts related to automated buses, while the Federal Highway Administration will seek public input on how driverless transportation modes should be accommodated on US highways.
But efforts to revise the existing regulations should go beyond just cars and buses, Chao said. “The reality is that automated driving systems are part of every single mode of transportation,” she said. The initiative to change existing rules could take several years and extend beyond the current administration, in large part because the regulators first have to identify what specifically the obstacles are, she said.