U.S. government releases new guidance for self-driving safety assessments

CHICAGO, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S government on Tuesday released a new guidance for self-driving safety assessments, saying the guideline is voluntary and not regulations.

The new policy is a stark reversal from the Obama administration's rules for self-driving cars. Released last year, the rules asked automakers to follow a 15-point safety assessment before putting test vehicles on the road.

The old guidelines also made clear that the federal government, not states, would determine whether the vehicles were safe.

The updated guidance, called "A Vision for Safety 2.0," is announced by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao during an appearance Tuesday at a test facility for self-driving cars in Ann Arbor, state of Michigan.

"The new guidance supports further development of this important new technology, which has the potential to change the way we travel and how we deliver goods and services," Chao said. "The safe deployment of automated vehicle technologies means we can look forward to a future with fewer traffic fatalities and increased mobility for all Americans."

Under the new guideline, the federal government does not have a mechanism to force automakers to submit safety assessments before they put self-driving cars on the road, which is welcomed by automakers.

The Washington-based Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which lobbies for carmakers, said the guidance "provides the right balance, allowing emerging innovations to thrive while government still keeps a watchful eye over new developments."

The U.S. House voted last week to give the federal government the authority to exempt automakers from safety standards that don't apply to the technology. The bill permits the deployment of up to 25,000 vehicles in its first year and 100,000 annually after that.

[ Editor: meng ]


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