US Congress subcommittee holds hearing on autonomous cars

The Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce in the US House of Representatives held a hearing on ‘Autonomous Vehicles: Promises and Challenges of Evolving Automotive Technologies’. During the hearing, tech companies and car manufacturers noted that the US risks remaining behind China and other countries if legal and regulatory support is not offered for the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles. Some lawmakers spoke about the need for appropriate safeguards to ensure that such vehicles operate safely and adhere to state and local laws. Other participants in the hearing asked the Congress to require tests for autonomous cars ensuring that they can properly detect other vehicles and hazards, and to introduce an obligation for mandatory manual overrides in such cars. Representatives of automakers urged Congress to ‘enact meaningful legislation that would establish the needed federal frameworks to realise […] safety and mobility solutions’. According to Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, members of the US Congress are working on ‘a self-driving car bill that will help ensure that these life-saving technologies are safely deployed’.