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U.S. wants to make rules easier for self-driving cars

On Oct. 27, the federal government announced that it plans to remove regulatory barriers that are slowing the debut of self-driving cars in Louisiana and across the U.S. A formal public notice is expected to be released by the end of November.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a report saying that it wants to do away with "unnecessary" regulations for autonomous vehicles. The agency said it is particularly interested in lifting barriers for self-driving cars that have no controls for human drivers. It also said that it is soliciting comments on the types of research it should conduct to help determine which rules to eliminate or amend.

Currently, automakers are required to meet more than 70 auto safety standards, many of which are aimed at cars with human drivers. In 2016, the NHTSA admitted that the current rules present serious legal roadblocks for the makers of self-driving vehicles. In response, a U.S. Senate committee has approved a bill that would allow the agency to waive current regulations for up to 80,000 autonomous vehicles. This should speed the implementation of self-driving vehicles on U.S. roads. The bill would also require the NHTSA to develop new regulations for autonomous vehicles within 10 years. The bill was supported by several autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers.

Automakers believe that self-driving vehicles will make U.S. roads safer. This is because most car accidents are caused by preventable mistakes, including texting and driving, speeding, drunk driving and drowsy driving. People who are injured in a car crash caused by a negligent driver may want to have legal support when filing a lawsuit against the at-fault motorist.

Source: Reuters, "U.S. wants to remove 'unnecessary' barriers to self-driving vehicles", David Shepardson, Oct. 27, 2017

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