Tomorrow, at the North American International Auto Show, US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will announce plans for the development of self-driving cars. Ultimately, the government aims to speed up the process of having autonomous cars on the roads as, to date, only a few states are currently allowing these self-driving cars, which include Michigan, California, and Nevada.
The goal is to ensure that there are federal laws regarding the development of the tech.
Foxx stated in an interview with Recode, “On these types of questions, we as an agency should produce guidance on how we are going to approach this technology — and how we want the industry to approach it. And that guidance is being worked on as we speak. I expect in the next days and weeks I'll be able to make some announcement about that."
It has been reported that the regulatory framework is scheduled to be set before President Obama leaves his office at the end of 2016.
Car manufacturing companies await the plan
Autonomous vehicle companies such as Google, Nissan and Tesla have confirmed that they will attend the event to await Foxx’s announcement. It was expected that the President will include this topic in his recent State of the Nation address, but as it turns out, it was not covered. However, it seems we will get those answers very soon.
The major challenge of car companies now is the varying laws being implemented by the different states. Recently, Google was disappointed with California’s requirement of having a licensed driver behind the wheel of self driving cars at all times.
The executive director of California Foundation for Independent Living Centres, Teresa Favuzzi, tweeted that the Department of Motor Vehicles was discriminating people with disabilities the ability to use these vehicles.
DMV excludes PWD by requiring self-driving cars to have drivers https://t.co/FpMvg3tDly
— Teresa Favuzzi (@teresacfilc) December 17, 2015
Despite all the gray areas, this announcement is definitely a gigantic step for the future of autonomous vehicles.