The U.S. transportation secretary said federal autonomous vehicle policy will experience “meaningful” development in the coming years, saying the policy framework has not yet fully caught up with technological developments.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Wednesday that federal autonomous vehicle policy will experience “meaningful” development in the coming years, saying the policy framework has not yet fully kept pace with technological developments. Speaking at the South by Southwest Music, Technology and Film Festival (SXSW), Buttigieg said regulation must set boundaries for autonomous driving without stifling innovation in an industry that is “still in its infancy.”
“Unless we start to see some real escalation of safety issues, it’s OK to allow this experimentation to flourish,” Buttigieg said, adding that a limit on the number of vehicles each company can test could act as a “slow down” .
“I think we’re going to see very meaningful developments in the 2020s,” Buttigieg said.
Efforts in Congress to regulate self-driving cars have stalled for several years, but U.S. regulators last week eliminated the need for manufacturers to equip fully self-driving cars with driving controls such as steering wheels and brake pedals.
Tesla Inc has released pilot software for its so-called “Full Self-Driving” system to tens of thousands of Tesla owners for use on public roads across the United States.
The system has come under scrutiny by U.S. regulators for fatal crashes and traffic violations.
In the murky regulatory environment, other automakers are more cautious.
Mercedes-Benz AG Chief Technology Officer Markus Schaefer told Reuters on Tuesday that the automaker “absolutely” wants to build a hands-free, semi-autonomous driving system in the U.S. to compete with Tesla’s Autopilot. regulatory framework to protect the company.
Buttigieg also said Wednesday that he wants to improve the U.S. public transportation system and encourage Americans to buy electric vehicles to reduce emissions through government tax incentives.
U.S. public transit usage remains about 40 percent below pre-pandemic levels, according to mobile app Transit.
Efforts by the White House to increase the current $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit to $12,500 remain stalled in Congress.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from the syndicated feed.)