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US Releases Rules for Self-Driving Cars

In a front-page story, the Washington Post reports Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx released a “long-awaited policy paper” that lays out rules for self-driving cars. The Post characterizes the plan as intending to “aggressively shape the emergence of driverless cars” and as increasing the federal government’s role “well beyond the traditional recalls of cars when they prove defective.” The policy paper “details 15 points” that Foxx “expects automakers to comply with as they rush to put autonomous cars on the road.” The paper asks manufacturers “to document for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) how and where they expect their vehicles to operate, how they will interact with other cars and the roadway, how they validate their testing, how they intend to protect privacy and prevent hacking, and how they would share data collected by onboard computers.”

Jeffrey Zients, director of the National Economic Council, and Transportation Secretary Foxx unveiled the “long-awaited guidelines” in a joint appearance, the New York Times reports, promising “strong safety oversight, but sent a clear signal to automakers that the door was wide open for driverless cars.” The guidelines “outlined safety expectations and encouraged uniform rules for the nascent technology.” According to the Times, they “signaled to motorists that automated vehicles would not be a wild west where companies can try anything without oversight, but were also vague enough that automakers and technology companies would not fear over-regulation.”

The Detroit Free Press says the framework announced “contained four sections — vehicle performance guidance, a model state policy, current regulatory tools and modern regulatory tools.” Said Foxx, “This is just the first step. … The policy will be updated annually to ensure it remains relevant and timely and will continue to be shaped by public comment on the entire policy at” The Free Press adds that the “major automakers and suppliers are closely watching NHTSA’s proposals.” USA Today reports that officials “stressed that the government reserves the right to create new rules for the nascent industry, and reiterated that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will have the power to ‘remove from the road’ any vehicle whose technology poses a safety risk.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

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The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

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