Elaine Chao, the U.S. Transportation Secretary, has said for months that her department would release new voluntary guidelines for self-driving cars. Now, the wait’s about to end, reports Reuters. The revamped guidelines are set to be released next week.
Chao is expected to unveil the guidelines at a self-driving car facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan, reported Reuters, citing four unnamed people with knowledge of the situation. The White House’s management and budget office approved the new guidelines on August 31, the news outlet reported.
The new guidelines come as the U.S. House of Representatives is prepared to vote on self-driving car legislation that would rapidly expand the ability to deploy autonomous vehicles that don’t need to adhere to certain standards. Up to 100,000 vehicles could be deployed annually by automakers that are exempt from existing auto safety standards. Currently, an exemption for only 2,500 vehicles is available.
Former President Barack Obama’s administration released self-driving car guidelines last fall that asked automakers to voluntarily submit results of a 15-point safety assessment on the decision-making conditions of self-driving cars, while also urging states to leave most of the regulatory oversight to the federal government.
When President Trump appointed Chao earlier this year, she signaled the guidelines would be revamped, based on feedback from the public and private sector.
Hopefully, by now, she’s cleared up any misconception about where the development of autonomous tech stands today.