U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, chairman of a House subcommittee that passed an autonomous vehicle bill, said the measure has sufficient provisions to ensure the cars operate safely. It requires the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop safety standards and allows the agency update outdated regulations. It also prohibits states from regulating autonomous driving systems to avoid a patchwork of rules, Latta said. The bill has passed the House. The Senate is considering a similar measure.
Whether the U.S. would succeed at becoming a leader in new military technology will be determined by how fast the U.S. Department of Defense recognizes the potential of AI and advanced autonomous systems, invest in associated technologies such as advanced computing, artificial neural networks, computer vision, natural language processing, big data, machine learning, and unmanned systems and robotics, as well as find use cases for them in the battlefield, the report shows. According to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC), a global market intelligence firm based in Massachusetts, the United States is still the largest market for cognitive/AI spending, reaching almost $10 billion in revenue in 2017. China, on the other hand, is constantly looking at investing and benefiting from American innovation in the military, putting money in U.S. startups when Washington seems reluctant.
Peter Kurdock, director of regulatory affairs for Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety in Washington, said the group sent a letter Monday to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao saying it is concerned about a lack of action and oversight by the department as autonomous vehicles are developed. That letter was planned before the crash.
Massachusetts Lodging Association President Paul Sacco dismissed Airbnb's criticism, saying it has "nothing to do with protecting middle class home sharing and everything to do with protecting the wealthy investor class hosts who have made it a big business to buy up scarce housing and convert it to illegal, unregulated and untaxed hotels at the expense of local residents and neighbors."
Monday's accident involving an Uber Technologies Inc car is shaping up as the first significant test of how policy makers and the public will respond to the new technology. The incident occurred as companies have been pushing for regulatory clearance to offer self-driving car ride services as soon as next year. On Friday, Uber and Alphabet Inc's Waymo car unit had written U.S. senators urging them to approve sweeping self-driving car legislation "in the coming weeks."