Excerpt: “U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Tuesday defended her department’s decision to use voluntary guidelines instead of enforceable rules to regulate self-driving cars, saying a flexible approach was best for an emerging technology. Chao also said the Trump administration would give preference in its forthcoming infrastructure plan to projects that promise technology innovation that could improve safety or advance the deployment of autonomous vehicles…
“Chao released the guidelines on the same day that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that federal highway safety regulators take a more active role in monitoring automakers as they bring vehicles to market with [even just partial autonomy] systems…
“Chao said a voluntary approach was appropriate, and brushed aside a question on why the guidelines would not be backed by enforcement…” [#End#]
Given that the USA has long consistently been the worst-performing developed nation on the planet, in terms of having the highest rates of road deaths every year, and also given that American-made automobiles are significantly less safe that European or many Asian made vehicles (compare US NCAP testing standards to Euro NCAP standards if you are unsure or unhappy about this claim), we are stunned that any venture of this magnitude should be allowed to proceed without enforceable rules.
In its abysmal, long-term failure to maintain acceptable safety standards on American roads and with regular vehicles, have the US traffic safety regulatory bodies now gone completely mad in a wild attempt to make up the deficit and/or try to corner the market for autonomous vehicles?
Quite scandalously, as of 2016, we are now back up to over 40,000 road deaths a year in America — a figure that would be down to around 15,000 per year if the performances of leading nations were simply matched by the US — so how many more innocent American lives are the politicians and bureaucrats willing or wishing to gamble every year?
Read: U.S. Official Backs Voluntary Rules For Self-Driving Cars, from Car and Bike (Reuters)
Also: U.S. Issues New Self-Driving Car Safety Guidelines, from Inc.