The Trump administration took its first step into the regulation of self-driving cars and trucks that could transform the nation's roadways. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao rolled out updated voluntary guidelines for the vehicles during an appearance in Michigan:
- They clarify that you don't need to get pre-approval from the Department of Transportation before deploying a autonomous vehicles, the department's agency tasked with the issue said on Tuesday. That's in line with the industry-friendly leanings of the Trump administration.
- They also make other changes industry will appreciate, like pulling back on data-sharing requirements for companies and removing privacy from a clear part of the guidance, the agency said.
- And the guidelines clear up the role of state and federal governments. Automakers and technology companies don't want a patchwork of state safety regulations.
The big picture: Federal authorities are trying to stake out their place in dealing with self-driving technology as Detroit and Silicon Valley race ahead. The House has already approved a bill that would accelerate testing, and the Senate is in the process of vetting a similar proposal.