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GM Aims To Halt Autonomous Vehicle Testing By Google, Uber With New Legislation

General Motors is aiming to stifle, and potentially bar, autonomous vehicle testing by Silicon Valley with new legislation the automaker had a hand in. The bill itself wants to ban any companies that are not established automakers from testing self-driving cars and technology, which puts Google, Uber and other companies in the crosshairs.

Automotive News reports the “Safe Autonomous Vehicles” bill is under consideration in several U.S. states and would allow established automakers to be the only companies to test fleets of autonomous vehicles. Currently, the state of California has granted rights to 22 companies to allow the testing of autonomous vehicles and technology. Less than half of those companies are automakers.

“This kind of anti-competitive bill will only slow down the rollout of live-saving technology and create an unlevel playing field at the expense of consumer safety,” Google’s Waymo said in a statement.

Companies such as Uber and Google have reportedly swayed Michigan legislators in changing the language to allow their companies to continue testing. The same cannot be said for similar bills under consideration in Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia and Maryland.

GM currently operates fleets of autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs in California, Arizona and Michigan will be added to the roster sometime this year.

Sean Szymkowski :Sean is a lead staff writer for GM Authority. The words above are fueled by passion and large amounts of caffeine. Find him on Instagram: @helloimseann

View Comments (8)

  • "Old GM" is back.

    Is America free, or isn't it? This example of centuries-old power dictating to new entrepreneurs is exactly what George III was doing when the Boston Tea Party started. Is the new Tea Party going to force Old GM to let Americans freely invent whenever and wherever they want?

    Mary Barra - stop this now and truly make a good legacy for yourself.

  • In short, GM's autonomous tech is so far behind, they want to handicap others so they can remain relevant.

    On the other hand, Google could revoke GM's licensing agreement to use Android Auto, and pull GM's apps from Google Play. ;) Think 'My Chevy Link' and OnStar can do navigation better?

    If this goes to court, Google can outspend GM, sadly.

    Google and Uber could always take their autonomous technology and develop it outside the US, and license it (whole or in part) to other automakers who aren't as insular.

    Wouldn't that be sad if in 5 years time Mitsubishi had an autonomous car developed and on sale in the US from a partnership with Google, while GM was still another 5 years away from debuting theirs on a mid-range Malibu....and then later on the CT6?

    A friggin' Mitsubishi outdoing the entirety of GM because GM was unwilling to spend the money right now.

  • Wasn't our new administration in DC going to reduce government regulation?

    Maybe it's selective regulation. I'd think innovation would be a job creator, but time will tell...

  • Did GM state the reasons for their proposal?

    If so why did you not use them in the story?

    Perhaps it was a matter of including real life operating and liability factors outside the experience of some organisations when it comes to road safety matters.

    • So, you need to build cars in order to understand laws/regulations?

      "Less than half of those companies are automakers." (Consideration of said "liabilities")

      I think what you're arguing really comes down to, "why should we assume GM intended to restrict competing businesses instead of actually wanting to protect the public." And in an ideal world maybe this would be a valid argument, except, do you really believe this?

      Do you honestly think a company wouldn't use its influence in such a way if it could? I think many if not most would say that a business is foolish to not use whatever leverage it could to succeed. I mean, didn't the American people agree to this logic by electing 45? Monetary gain > everything. Especially when you're a company that was bailed out by tax payers and really need a solid comeback so that all the bs can be justified.

  • Welcome to the real world. It is very competitive out there and Silicon Valley has done even much worse.

    It is a dog eat dog world.

    Amazon is killing local business and Bill Gates has run more software companies out than anyone.

    As for saving lives there is still a lot to deal with in Autonomous cars. The problem now is programmers need to sort morality and mortality out legally and emotionally. We will still have accidents and people will die the programmers will be the ones who decided who lives or dies.

    Even now we have the issue of if there is an accident is it the car owners fault, mfg fault or software programmers fault?

    Like in the early days of the industry the SAE standardized fasteners. There will be a need to standardize much of this technology.

    As it is now the software industry is one of the least standardized there is and that is part of what will need to be addressesed. Auto makers know this but programmers in the Valley do not care.

    There is still much to do and work out.

  • Autonomous car (A) says to Autonomous car (B) "I was here first". Autonomous car (B) replies "I am bigger then you".
    Autonomous car (C) overhears(?) this and responds "I am the most developed, robust of all! then come Autonomous car (D), late to the party, "I am the latest and greatest, I should go first".

    Sounds like an Autonomous riot. ...I just thought of something, will autonomous cars have horns? so that those riots have a voice?

    Can't wait to see someone get cut off by one of these cars and instinctively blow there horn at it. my side hurts just thinking about it.