Automakers ask California to ease rules for self-driving car tests
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Automakers on Tuesday urged the state of California to further ease its proposed regulations for autonomous vehicles, saying the state did not respond to their earlier objections by making enough revisions to its planned set of rules for self-driving cars.
At a public hearing in Sacramento monitored via webcast, automakers urged California to drop some additional proposed regulations and leave much of the oversight to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But safety and consumer advocates urged the state to adopt strict oversight, and an official from San Francisco said cities should have more local control.
A number of automakers have said they plan to begin deploying self-driving vehicles, some in commercial fleets, by 2020-2021.
Paul Scullion, a manager at the Association of Global Automakers, said California's proposed regulations go "too far."
The group opposes California's plan to require a permit to deploy autonomous vehicles, which must meet performance and design criteria. "We do not think requiring a permit to deploy is the right approach," Scullion said.
Global Automakers said it opposes California's proposal that it could withdraw permits to deploy vehicles even if they met federal requirements.
Ron Medford, director of safety at Alphabet Inc's self-driving unit Waymo, urged California to quickly issue final rules "to provide manufacturers with the certainty that they need."
Brian Soublet, deputy director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles, said the agency will review written comments before unveiling final rules. Continued...