As self-driving car testing drives forward in Pa., experts and lawmakers turn their eyes to safety regulations

And just last week, Pittsburgh-based self-driving car developer Argo AI announced the formation of an independent safety council designed to monitor the company’s practices.

Stakeholders can agree on one thing: Safety is important.And as the Pennsylvania Senate prepares to consider legislation that could make it possible to conduct self-driving testing without a person behind the wheel, the issue is more important than ever.

Certain details about Argo AI’s committee remain murky. But as the technology advances and may soon be on Pittsburgh streets, experts agree any move to improve self-driving safety is a good thing.

“It’s always good to see an autonomous vehicle company getting independent advice because independence is absolutely essential for safety,” said Philip Koopman, a professor in Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who has been active in the space since before self-driving vehicles existed.