US consumers concerned about lack of standardisation in driverless car legislation

Driverless cars are on their way, whatever speed they arrive, but according to a new study many US citizens are still concerned about various aspects of their safety.

The study from Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, which polled 1,005 adults living in the US, found more than three quarters opposed disconnection of vehicle controls such as steering wheels and brake pedals, while the vast majority saw concern with more general cybersecurity and safety legislation.

73% of those polled said they support the development of safety standards for new features related to the operation of driverless cars, while 81% said they supported cybersecurity rules to protect driverless cars from being hacked.

This is put alongside the Senate AV Start Act and the House Self Drive Act, two pieces of impending legislation which the report asserts do not do enough in these areas. Regarding safety standards, the report says, only ‘voluntary guidelines’ are issued for now, while both Acts have a demand that a ‘plan’ exists for cybersecurity, but no minimum requirements. “These poll numbers should be a bright, flashing hazard light to members of congress considering legislation that will set policy on driverless cars for years to come,” the press materials roared.

Other measures were given fierce approval from consumers. 84% said they supported uniform rules from the US Department of Transportation to ensure human drivers are alert in case they need to take control of the driverless car.

Yet this measure is a particularly interesting one given recent advancements from automotive vendors. Last week General Motors said it had submitted a petition to the US Department of Transportation to commence operating fully autonomous cars in a new service scheduled for 2019. In other words, the new vehicles, named Cruise AV, will have no steering wheels or pedals.

You can read the full report here (pdf).

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FCC to vote on repealing Net Neutrality legislation

Net Neutrality is the idea that Internet service providers (Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and so on) should treat all data the same. It has been a hot topic in the United States for years, especially after the FCC voted in 2015 to reclassify ISPs as Title II utilities, essentially making Net Neutrality law.

In January of this year, Ajit Varadaraj Pai was named the new chairman of the FCC by President Trump.

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FCC to vote on repealing Net Neutrality legislation was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Senate Approves Legislation to Get Self-Driving Cars On U.S. Roads

Paving the Way

United States roadways are one step closer to being traversed by driverless cars: on September 30, the Senate announced that it had reached an agreement to lift some of the regulations on manufacturers that made it harder to get self-driving cars on the road.

“While this Senate self-driving vehicle legislation still has room for further changes, it is a product of bipartisan cooperation we both stand behind,” said Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), who introduced the legislation, in a joint statement.

The original bill that Peters and Thune took to the Senate, known as the American Vision for Safer Transportation through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act, was broad-reaching. In addition to removing barriers to manufacture, the bill proposed enhanced safety oversight of manufacturers, as well as guidance for state and local research on traffic safety and law enforcement challenges. It proposed to strengthen cyber-security policies to protect the information and safety of drivers. The bill also included measures on automated trucking, consumer education, and protections for drivers with disabilities.

Autonomous Car Forecasts: When Will They Actually Be on Our Roads?
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On October 5, the Senate will announce which provisions were retained in the approved legislation.

The bill is expected to utilize some provisions from a similar bill that was passed in the House of Representatives earlier in September. That bill allowed manufacturers to produce an initial load of 25,000 cars in the first year. After three years, if they can prove that AI vehicles are at least as safe as human-directed cars, that will increase to 100,000 annually.

Jobs and More

American policymakers and manufacturers alike have been hurrying to get aboard the self-driving train—so to speak. Around the country and the world, self-driving cars are rapidly multiplying. The UK will be testing “platoons” of driverless semi trucks by the end of next year. Uber already uses them to pick up passengers in Pittsburgh and Arizona, Lyft is introducing them in San Francisco, and the city of Sacramento is seeking to make their city a driverless car testing ground. Tesla CEO Elon Musk even believes that most cars in production will be autonomous within ten years.

Yet the legal framework still isn’t in place for this transportation revolution.

“Self-driving vehicles will completely revolutionize the way we get around in the future, and it is vital that public policy keep pace with these rapidly developing lifesaving technologies that will be on our roads in a matter of years,” said Senator Peters, in his statement on the original bill. He emphasized that the industry has the potential to create thousands of new jobs.

Given that approximately 93% of all accidents have been attributed to human error, the senators and others have emphasized that self-driving cars aren’t just a job creator or a cool way to get around—they could save millions of lives.

The post Senate Approves Legislation to Get Self-Driving Cars On U.S. Roads appeared first on Futurism.

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Legislation for Looser Restriction on Self-Driving Cars Passes Unanimously

Congress has just passed a new piece of legislation that could make self-driving cars a mainstream reality much sooner.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that aims to speed up the deployment of self-driving cars. The Self Drive Act, as the bill is dubbed, will expand tech companies’ ability to test autonomous vehicle systems on public roads, and it lays out a roadmap for the research and development of autonomous systems, Reuters reported.

The Self Drive Act will allow companies to start deploying self-driving vehicles without meeting existing safety standards — such as the requirement that autonomous vehicles must have a human controller at the wheel. The legislation would also place control of self-driving regulations firmly in the hands of federal lawmakers, as it will block states from barring self-driving vehicle testing. When it rolls out, the bill will allow for firms to field up to 25,000 in the first year, with that cap potentially rising to 100,000 vehicles annually over three years.

But the bill will also require automakers to be transparent about their approach to privacy and security. According to the Washington Post, that’s been a key concern since researchers demonstrated just how easily cars can be hacked and commandeered remotely. The Self Drive Act also seeks to amend Department of Transportation regulations concerning the definition of certain car parts. For example, language dictating the additions of steering wheels and brake pedals could conflict with self-driving cars that don’t have those components.

The legislation isn’t law just yet, however. Before it comes into effect, the Senate has to approve its own version of the bill. There’s currently no timeline on when that could be, as Congress’ agenda is already filled with arguably higher-profile issues such as taxes and immigration, WaPo reported. Still, it’s an important first step that could help autonomous vehicles enter the market much quicker.

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Why legislation alone won’t solve the insecurity of the Internet of Things

cybersecurity

Few people would argue that cybersecurity is in a parlous state. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen a connected car wash and fish tank hacked respectively and a smart gun unlocked and fired thanks to a magnet at the latest DefCon. In response to the problem, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators has put forward new legislation to address the security problems of the Internet of Things. The new bill, introduced on Tuesday, would require vendors that provide connected equipment to the U.S. government ensure products are patchable and meet industry security standards, according to Reuters….Read More

Connected Devices – ReadWrite