Self-Driving Car Bill Could Stall Before Passage, Putting GM Cruise AV Plans On Ice9
The clock is ticking on a largely bipartisan piece of legislation supported by many automakers and tech companies that aims to speed the development of autonomous vehicles, clarifying regulations for such automobiles and preempting conflicting rules at the state and local levels. Under the proposed rules, companies would be allowed to deploy self-driving car fleets that wouldn’t be subjected to some of the same safety rules that govern human-driven automobiles.
The legislation – or something like it – would be necessary for something like the fully-autonomous GM Cruise AV that General Motors wants to deploy in rideshare and ride-hailing fleets starting next year. The car, first revealed back in January of this year, lacks driver controls like a steering wheel and accelerator/brake pedals, and is the first production-intent automobile without those inputs.
The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed one version of an autonomous vehicles bill that Bloomberg calls “unusually bipartisan legislation,” while the Senate is still working out the details of its own version. At issue is the upcoming midterm elections; any Senate version of the self-driving car bill must pass quickly enough after voting that the House and Senate still have time to negotiate a compromise version of the legislation before the end of the year.
After the year’s end, it will be a new Congress, and the U.S. House and Senate will need to start over with a new bill.
“This entire process has been an incredible feat of bipartisanship,” Greg Rogers, Director of Government Affairs at Securing America’s Future Energy told Bloomberg. “Attempting to recreate a bill that’s this ambitious and this significant would be like trying to catch lightning in a bottle all over again.”
If the legislation fails to pass and make its way to President Donald Trump’s desk for approval, General Motors might have to put off its plans for the GM Cruise AV, delaying the start date on a program that could help the automaker gather data invaluable to its autonomous driving technology development program.
Stay tuned for all the latest GM-related autonomous vehicle news.
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do we really need to spend all this money on self-driving car imo NO
If GM doesn’t others will.
Let em’. I am not convinced about the utopian benefits of AVs and I for one have no interest in them whatsoever. GM should be spending the money on improving quality, updating their plants, and filling holes in their product lineup. Instead, they are laying off workers, cheapening the materials they use in interiors, and allowing their industrial infrastructure to age- all the while seeing lower sales and falling quality. Nobody is going to be impressed with the fact that GM will be the first to come out with a self-driving drone if they cannot get the fundamentals right.
All I can say is “good”! I am not impressed with a Bolt mock up sans the left side of the instrument panel. I would rather see a Wrangler competitor, a GMC Granite, and a true Cadillac flagship. If recent sales are any indication, GM needs to spend more money on improving quality, bringing product to market faster, and building flexibility into its plants to meet the shift in demand for trucks and SUVs.
Yes we really do need to spend all this money on self driving cars!
Because there are too many human driven cars on the road. All too often, humans make independent decisions behind the wheel that impede or complicate the natural flow of traffic. If humans can’t coordinate their actions efficiently behind the wheel, they shouldn’t be driving.
Think about that the next time someone cuts you off, or gets out of their car to yell at you because their understanding of the rules of the road are wrong, but they still insist on telling you, quite loudly, that they have the right of way.
A computer speaking to another computer, of which all have the same understanding of the rules of the road, won’t exhibit road rage.
That, and what’s easier for a city to do? Pay out millions and millions in infrastructure costs to make even wider roads to cope with the daily congestion from bedroom communities outside of their jurisdiction that would only result in higher taxes, or have autonomous cars that use their roads responsibly and efficiently as possible thereby minimizing the need for costly road widening?
There are more benefits to the autonomous car than there are drawbacks. None of it has anything to do with unrealistic utopian views or the desire for complete control.
It’s where the money will be coming from, and for some reason, you don’t want GM to have any part in something so lucrative.
1) If you think road rage is going to decrease with these drones guess again. Wait till one of these drones hog the left lane of a freeway at the posted speed limit while the rest of traffic is flowing 10 MPH higher than that.
2) I have never had nobody get out of their car and yell at me. I realize that there are a lot of jerks out there but that comes with the freedom of driving.
3) Computers can be hacked. Think about what would happen if a hack job disabled say the brakes on these drones.
4) There is no proof whatsoever that drones would use the roads more responsibly. If anything, the Waymo vans in Arizona are causing traffic backups because the computer is unsure of what to do. Speaking of infrastructure, most roads are not drone-ready. It will take trillions to smooth out the roads and mark them properly at a time when most municipalities cannot fill a pothole properly.
1) There wouldn’t be any road rage, as that is a human condition. If the autonomous cars are working in tandem, coordinating their actions with one another, and telegraphing their actions with hundreds of others around them, they’ll move in concert and without any friction. Every autonomous car would know what’s right and what’s wrong, and act accordingly.
2) “I realize that there are a lot of jerks out there but that comes with the freedom of driving.”
That’s flatly unacceptable. The roads are a public realm, and driving should be cordial and respectable, not a wild west of people with short fuses.
Furthermore, there is no freedom of driving if you’re required by law to take formal training, prove and demonstrate your knowledge in practical and theoretical testing, obtain mandatory insurance, pay for the right to bear the permit, pay for the physical licence of which is wholly owned by the jurisdiction, pay for safety inspections, and pay for road use with controlled access route that are tended to by tiered tax systems that see some roads better served and maintained than others.
And then you think that dealing with road rage is in any way acceptable for what you pay in to get the privilege of driving (driving IS a privilege, not a right)? Nope. Not even close.
You behave properly on public roads, or you get your driving privileges revoked by law. You don’t circumvent the law because you personally don’t like it.
3) Computers can also preventively isolate the high memory functions in the back end. Fusible links and efuses block unknown boot paths.
You’re acting like a hacked computer is detrimental. At least it’s not wielding a gun at you telling you that it has the right of way and wants to prove itself by intimidation.
As for the brakes, a subroutine can activate emergency braking, the hazard lights, decelerate, and downshift to slower speeds to slow the vehicle to a stop.
Hell, they tell you to do the same thing in driving schools. Didn’t you learn how to stop a car without brakes back then?
4) “It will take trillions to smooth out the roads and mark them properly at a time when most municipalities cannot fill a pothole properly.”
And you think Google doesn’t already know the optimum time to travel on the roads or what their conditions are? They have well over 10 years of historic traffic data, and each day they add more to their database. Google Street View is more than just taking pictures from public spaces, and Google maps is more than just finding where some street is.
Besides, the roads don’t have to be autonomous ready, as that would be redundant. The autonomous cars are meant to be used on existing roads.
Oh, and yes, they can read and interpret road sign and markings, as well as identify a human crossing the road from fallen leaves. There is simply no need to spend trillions to make an infrastructure ready for autonomous cars. V2V and V2I protocols are where the focus is, not repainting lines and putting up more LEDs.