US Senate committee endorses bill on self-driving cars

The Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in the US Senate has approved a bill on self-driving cars. The bill, which still needs to pass approval by the full Senate, would allow auto companies to sell a certain number of self-driving cars annually, as long as they demonstrate that they are as safe as regular cars (15.000/company on the first year, 40.000 on the second year, and 80.000 within three years). The bill would also allow states to adopt regulations on issues such as registration, safety inspection, and insurance, but the regulation of performance standards would be the sole responsibility of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This provision is seen as useful, as it would lead to uniform national safety standards, instead of different standards across different states in the USA. In terms of data protection, companies would be required to disclose what information the cars are collecting about individuals, and how that information is used. While companies working on self-driving cars welcome such legislation, there are also voices against it, coming especially from auto safety advocates.