EC HH Autonomous Cars - Issues Yet To Be Addressed

Another contributor to TalkMarkets that I follow, Mish Shedlock, has been posting for years on autonomous vehicles. I have posted several times myself but not as extensively as him. He has a new post today on GM announcing a test fleet of vehicles they will use with their own employees. Mish's piece on this is well done and I recommend it.

Let me add a few other things

Regulations

Mish mentions the regulatory side, but has not in my mind given it the time it deserves.Regulations on autos are still mostly done at the state level (licensing, speed limits, inspections) and while most states have been grappling with regulations for autonomous cars (around 20+ have regulations and over a dozen more are considering them ), the resulting regulations are all over the board - which in my view is a key part of the problem. Last I checked cars tend to traverse state lines, so inconsistent regulations between adjoining states that make the vehicle stop in its tracks at the border are not going to be well received by the autonomous taxi passenger trying to get to the airport. 

Nonetheless, a lot of safety regulations, like airbags, are traditionally done at the federal level by the Department of Transportation, so there is precedent for the Feds taking over - like it or not. And while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued "guidelines" for autonomous cars, those "guidelines" are not getting the job done. We need uniformity in this area. 

Due to these issues, it seems Congress is looking at the problem and perhaps may take action (don't get me started on whether the current Congress can take any action, but they are at least looking at it). Recognizing the need for uniformity, the Senate published bipartisan principles outlining what the regulations might look like, and a House subcommittee approved an autonomous vehicle package making it easier for regulators to act. The Act talks in terms of "preemption," which is government speak for states to take a back seat (pun intended) as the Feds are taking over. The focus is also, like most state regulations, on autonomous vehicle testing requirements more than their actual final rollout and daily use. Still, a step in the right direction.

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Comments

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Gary Anderson 2 months ago Contributor's comment

You can ride in an autonomous car to the airport, but I will pass on that. And insurance companies can be deceived by autonomous car charlatans too. The idea that Las Vegas would no longer have cars is absurd.

Otto Harrell 1 month ago Member's comment

Why the fear of autonomous cars? They already have a proven safety record that surpasses human drivers.

Gary Anderson 1 month ago Contributor's comment

You didn't read my article Otto. Fear the self driving cars: www.talkmarkets.com/.../top-ten-reasons-self-driving-cars-are-useless

Otto Harrell 1 month ago Member's comment

I see, that was a good read.

Carl Schwartz 1 month ago Member's comment

Gary has actually had some good articles about the issue. Worth taking a look. They were a real eye opener for me.