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Florida Could Expand Self-Driving Car Law

Self-driving vehicles could be operated in Florida without a human backup under a bill approved by a House committee last week, which could pave the way for companies like Uber and Lyft to deploy fleets of driverless vehicles. Republican sponsor Rep. Jason Fischer said he wants Florida to be ahead of other states in allowing the vehicles on state highways as the technology continues to develop. His bill updates a current law allowing self-driving vehicles if there is a person in the car as a backup. The House State Affairs Committee approved the bill on a 20-1 vote and it’s now ready for a...
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GM, Ford and Toyota form group to help with AV rules

General Motors, Ford and Toyota said in a statement cited by Reuters they were joining forces with SAE International to establish autonomous vehicle “safety guiding principles to help inform standards development.” The group will also “work to safely advance testing, pre-competitive development and deployment,” they added. Reuters noted regulators in the US had been grappling with how to regulate self-driving cars, with other countries watching closely to see how the implementation of the emerging technology works out. Last year, the report noted, US Congress, unable...
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Hackers steer a Tesla into oncoming traffic by placing three small stickers on the road

Cybersecurity researchers from Tencent’s Keen Labs were able to fool Tesla’s Autopilot into merging into oncoming traffic. The hackers also controlled the car using a video game controller. Tesla thanked the group for its research and confirmed that no customers had ever experienced the problems in real driving. A prolific cybersecurity research firm says it has managed to make Tesla’s Autopilot veer off course by placing three small stickers on the road pavement. Read the full story.
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Commission welcomes agreement on new EU rules to help save lives

The EU institutions have reached a provisional political agreement on the revised General Safety Regulation. As of 2022 new safety technologies will become mandatory in European vehicles to protect passengers, pedestrians and cyclists. The new mandatory features will include: For cars, vans, trucks, and buses: warning of driver drowsiness and distraction (e.g., smartphone use while driving), intelligent speed assistance, reversing safety with camera or sensors and data recorder in case of an accident (‘black box’). For cars and vans: lane-keeping assistance, advanced emergency braking and...
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Hackers crack Tesla Model 3 in competition, Tesla gives them the car

A group of hackers managed to crack a Tesla Model 3 as part of a hacking competition and Tesla gave them the car for exposing the vulnerability. The automaker made a Model 3 available to hackers in order for them to find and exploit vulnerabilities in the vehicle’s system. The event happened in Vancouver this week and a team of two hackers managed to find an exploit on the last day of competition. David Lau, Vice President of Vehicle Software at Tesla, commented on their effort: “We develop our cars with the highest standards of safety in every respect, and our work with the security...
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NHTSA Opens GM and Nuro Autonomous Vehicle Petition to Public Comment

On March 15, 2019, the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that automated vehicle petitions from Nuro and General Motors (GM) are advancing to the Federal Register for public review and comment. “The Department is actively seeking public comment on proposed exemptions to federal standards and how the public can be protected as new transportation technologies emerge,” said US Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. Manufacturers must submit a petition to NHTSA to apply for a temporary exemption if a proposed new...
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GOP House Representatives Urge Energy and Commerce Committee to Take Up Self-Driving Legislation

In a letter dated March 13, 2019, representatives Greg Walden (R-OR 2nd District), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA 5th District) and Bob Latta (R-OH 5th District) wrote a letter urging the Energy and Commerce Committee to make self-driving legislation a priority. They highlighted the bill’s potential to save lives, enhance mobility and provide international competitiveness for companies in this space. Read the letter in its entirety.
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What Autonomous Vehicles Could Mean for the Future of Washington, DC

The one thing that’s certain about the autonomous future heralded by executives in Detroit and Silicon Valley is a future that’s either years or decades away, depending on which experts you consult: It will entail more driving. By the year 2040, the nation’s capital could be a bustling network of autonomous vehicles, with better access to jobs on its eastern and western extremities. Traffic would glide smoothly on freeways — the cars automatically keeping a safe distance by “talking” to one another — with no empty seats in the roving fleet of vehicles. The system would complement a healthy...
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Pittsburgh and Autonomous Vehicle Companies Agree to Testing Guidelines

An executive order signed by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto on Monday outlines objectives and expectations for the safe testing of autonomous vehicles in the city. Companies Aptiv, Argo AI, Aurora Innovation and Uber were all present for the announcement. City officials said Pittsburgh, an autonomous vehicle research hub, is the first municipality to draw up testing guidelines that are this extensive. For example, it directs the city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) to create policies that ensure communication, increase “transparency and knowledge of the testing occurring on...
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Tesla Promises Full Self-Driving Model 3

Tesla is now taking orders for a Model 3, which includes a full self-driving capability. On March 1, 2019, Tesla announced that “all customers who bought a Tesla before yesterday’s price decrease will be able to buy the Autopilot or Full Self-Driving capability for half of what those features would normally cost after initial purchase.” Experts, on the other hand, say the “full self-driving” feature is really a partial self-driving feature that handles minor driving tasks, such as keeping pace with other cars on a highway, and still requires diligent human oversight. To most autonomous...
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Pedestrian deaths increase in 2018

2/28/2019 A new report, commissioned by the Governors Highway Safety Association, estimates that over 6,000 pedestrians were killed in car accidents in 2018. This is the highest level of pedestrian deaths in the United States since 1990; the number of deaths hit a low in 2009 but has since risen steadily. In many cases, alcohol use is a factor in accidents involving pedestrians. The fatality rate may also be increasing because there are more SUVs on the road, which can cause greater injuries to those outside of the car than a sedan. Experts also raise the possibility that distracted drivers...
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Autonomous Vehicles Bill in 2019? Senator Sees an Opening

Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) indicated that his fellow senators have expressed interest in resuming considerations on legislation that would designate the necessary provisions for infrastructure, as well as safety associated with autonomous vehicles. Thune stated that he is hopeful the legislation could be introduced in the near future, noting the opportunity for bipartisanship with Democrats who control the House. An autonomous vehicles bill in the previous Congress co-sponsored by Thune, who at the time chaired the Commerce Committee, failed to land on President Donald Trump’s...
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Five Autonomous Car Trends Everyone Should Know About In 2019

Every major automobile manufacturer is heavily investing in self-driving technology, and 2018 saw many pilot schemes taken onto highways and city roads. By the end of 2019, we may not all be chauffeured around town by robots as we sit in the back and catch up with our Facebook friends, but we will certainly be significantly closer than we are today. Forbes published five major predictions for autonomous vehicles in 2019, which include: First Level 5 autonomous cars First fully autonomous coast-to-coast trip Autonomous trucking becomes a reality Autonomous ride sharing hits the mainstream...
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Five Takeaways from KPMG’s 2019 Autonomous Vehicle Readiness Index

KPMG recently released its second annual Autonomous Vehicle Readiness Index. The purpose of the document is to assess countries’ preparedness for autonomous vehicles. KPMG ranked a total of 25 countries on four different categories as they pertained to AVs: (1) Policy and Legislation; (2) Technology and Innovation; (3) Infrastructure; and (4) Consumer Acceptance. Here are five takeaways from the report: Netherlands ranks as the country most prepared for autonomous vehicles. The country’s infrastructure and acceptance of AV technology make it particularly likely that the Dutch will accept AVs...
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