Federal regulations regarding the implementation and operation of self-driving cars might be in the works.
According to Reuters, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is set to be in Detroit Thursday to discuss the Obama administration’s efforts to lay out nationwide guidelines for the introduction of self-driving vehicles. The administration aims to speed up the process of getting autonomous cars on the road, Reuters reports.
Currently, autonomous self-driving cars are only allowed in a handful of states, including Michigan, Nevada and California among others. Only carmakers are licensed to test driverless vehicles currently.
However, as companies like Nissan announce sales of fully autonomous models in as little as four years, it’s clear federal lawmakers need to set national guidelines for the burgeoning technology.
Ultimately, the concern is that without widespread legislation, autonomy could be regulated by a jumble of states and municipalities with their own distinctive laws. This would create a nightmare for carmakers that aim to implement a large-scale roll out of the safety technology.
It’s unclear exactly what the administration can do in terms of shaping self-driving car legislation. However, it’s likely the president can make efforts to smooth out the process and simplify it. There were reports that the president may discuss the matter during the State of the Union Tuesday night, but he did not.