Self-driving cars could be on the road sooner than you think

Congress passes bill on self-driving cars

The goal of the "Self Drive Act" is to establish a federal framework for the regulation of self-driving cars.

Reuters reported Tuesday that U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao will unveil revised self-driving guidelines on Tuesday in Ann Arbor, Michigan, citing sources.

The House unanimously approved on Wednesday the Self Drive Act, a bipartisan bill that limits states from controlling how automakers construct and design self-driving cars. Over three years, the cap would rise to 100,000 vehicles annually.

"Gizmodo quoted Ohio Republican Bob Latta as saying", With this legislation, innovation can flourish without the heavy hand of government".

Soon, you could start seeing more self-driving cars on the road. Meanwhile, the states will handle matters like inspections, insurance and liability. As per the bill, self-driving cars must demonstrate that they are as safe as existing vehicles. A separate autonomous vehicle bill is in the works in the U.S. Senate, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reportedly announcing updated self-driving guidelines next week.

The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, an association that includes automakers Ford and Volvo as well as tech firms seeking to deploy autonomous vehicles such as former Google auto unit Waymo, Uber and Lyft, welcomed the passage. Companies must draft security and privacy plans for autonomous vehicles and document their approach for ensuring self-driving auto safety.

China calls for halt to THAAD deployment
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Sunday said the USA will answer any threat from the North with a "massive military response". Two truck-mounted THAAD launchers and a powerful radar are already in operation at a former golf course in Seongju.

Recode reports that while the Senate may struggle to find time to vote on its version this year, the Trump administration is expected to issue a voluntary safety checklist for automakers as early as next week.

The Senate has also been working on its own self-driving bill, and plans to hold a hearing in September to debate whether it will cover trucking as well.

Through these changes, supporters of the act hope that more companies can get more autonomous cars on the streets with fewer roadblocks (pun unintended) for testing.

Automakers raised numerous concerns about the Obama administration guidance, including the suggestion that automakers should submit systems to regulators for review before putting them on the market.

Image: US House readies bill that will make it easy to deploy self-driving cars.

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