- the u.s. senate commerce committee will meet on november 20 to talk about safety rules and guidelines for testing autonomous vehicles.
- the meeting comes as congress has struggled to pass legislation addressing the new technology.
- the hearing, titled "highly automated vehicles: perspectives on the deployment of safety technology," will include presentations from three government officials from the department of transportation and the national transportation safety board weighing in on how self-driving vehicles can be safely tested and rolled out.
the u.s. senate commerce committee is slated to convene on november 20 to discuss testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles. the hearing will follow by one day a meeting of the national transportation safety board about the death of a pedestrian hit by a self-driving uber test vehicle in march 2018.
the senate hearing will feature the chairman of the ntsb, robert sumwalt, as well as officials from the u.s. department of transportation, who will discuss the safety and benefits of self-driving cars. autonomous technology is being increasingly deployed onto public streets yet faces little regulation beyond the state level; congress has been unable to pass legislation addressing the burgeoning technology.
autonomous technology has been under increased scrutiny after a pedestrian was struck and killed by a tester in a self-driving uber in arizona in march 2018. the ntsb report found that the self-driving uber detected the pedestrian six seconds before the crash. and just last week, the ntsb reported that the av software was not capable of recognizing a jaywalking pedestrian. meanwhile, general motors filed a petition earlier this year, requesting a waiver of some safety regulations to be allowed to deploy autonomous vehicles with no steering wheel or pedals as part of a controlled fleet.
ntsb findings from the crash could inform decisions made both by those in the industry and regulators when it comes to issues and potential issues in autonomous technology. late last year, the av start act was introduced to the senate, which would have established federal standards for av regulation, but ultimately failed to gather the votes that it needed. and just a few weeks ago, drafts of other autonomous-vehicle-related legislation circulated in the house and senate, indicating congress is looking to act on the issue, but it could still take some time.