US House passes self-driving cars bill

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This doesn't mean that these cars won't be held to safety standards; companies that participate will need to secure permits before they can put their self-driving cars on the road and will regularly submit safety assessments to regulators. Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is scheduled to release revised self-driving guidelines during a speech next Tuesday in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill with the unanimous support that could accelerate the rollout of self-driving technology, a media report said.

"The Coalition is grateful for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce's bipartisan leadership on the SELF DRIVE Act, and we look forward to working with members of the House and Senate to enact autonomous vehicle legislation that enhances safety, creates new mobility opportunities, and facilitates innovation", the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets wrote in a Wednesday statement. The trio serve on the Senate commerce committee, which on September 6 announced a September 13 hearing to examine autonomous commercial vehicles and how they may fit into the Senate's self-driving vehicle legislation. Before the House vote, Ohio Republican Bob Latta, the bill's primary sponsor, called the technology "life saving".

Consumer advocates have sought more changes, including giving the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration quicker access to crash data and more funding to oversee self-driving cars.

And, states could still set rules on registration, licensing, liability, insurance and safety inspectors.

When enacted, the law will enable auto-makers and tech companies to test 25,000 vehicles in the first year and increase the number to 100,000 experimental self-driving vehicles in three years of time.

The legislations is aimed at giving auto manufacturers an edge in developing and rolling out new self-driving vehicle technologies here in the United States, but the freedoms it provides may be a cause for concern.

Automakers and technology companies, including General Motors Co and Alphabet Inc's self-driving unit Waymo, have been pushing for new federal rules making it easier to deploy self-driving technology.

Some automakers have protested in the recent past that states' proposed rules on self-driving cars are too prohibitive-especially California.

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