The same legislation that looks to bar non-automakers from testing autonomous vehicles on public roads is being painted in a different light by General Motors in Tennessee.
The Memphis Business Journal reports Harry Lightsey, GM’s executive directive of public policy on emerging technologies, testified before the House Transportation subcommittee on self-driving vehicle legislation, known as the SAVE bill.
The legislation would require automakers, and only automakers, to outfit all autonomous vehicles with crash notification tech and a data recording system to document happenings in the case of an accident before operating the vehicles on public roads. The automaker will also have to provide summaries periodically to the state legislature and NHTSA.
Lightsey credited Tennessee auto industry as one of the reasons the bill could help the state make headway on the national scene. Tennessee is home to a handful of automobile manufacturing facilities, including GM’s Spring Hill plant. He also reiterated the safety aspect as to why autonomous cars are a must for the future.
“Self-driving vehicles don’t get distracted,” Lightsey said. “They are always aware of what’s around them. They don’t get behind the wheel when they’ve had too much to drink.”
An amended version of the bill will not move to a full committee in the Tennessee House where GM hopes it will ultimately make its way into state law. Tennessee would join 10 other states that have enacted legislation surrounding autonomous vehicles.