US plans to rewrite rules that put the brakes on self-driving cars

New rules pertaining to self-driving cars are on the way from the Trump administration.

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The revised safety rules would bar fully self-driving cars from the roads without equipment such as steering wheels, pedals and mirrors, according to a document made public on Thursday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking at the current safety standards as applied to automated vehicles.

The U.S. Department of Transportation issued an 80-page update of its principles dubbed "Automated Vehicles 3.0."

The department, as reported by Reuters earlier on Thursday, disclosed that the NHTSA wants comment "on proposed changes to particular safety standards to accommodate automated vehicle technologies and the possibility of setting exceptions to certain standards that are relevant only when human drivers are present."

Automakers must currently meet nearly 75 auto safety standards, many of which were written with the assumption that a licensed driver will be in control of the vehicle.


General Motors in January filed a petition seeking an exemption for the current rules to use vehicles without steering wheels and other human controls as part of a ride-sharing fleet it plans to deploy in 2019.

NHTSA has not declared the GM petition complete, a step necessary before it can rule on the merits.

Alphabet's Waymo unit plans to launch an autonomous ride-hailing service for the general public with no human driver behind the steering wheel in Arizona later this year.

GM said in a statement on Thursday that "legislation is still urgently needed" to allow "the full deployment of self-driving vehicles."

The report also said the Trump administration will not support calls to end human driving. The department "embraces the freedom of the open road, which includes the freedom for Americans to drive their own vehicles."

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