Automakers unveil proposals to speed U.S. self-driving deployment

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a group representing General Motors Co, Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen AG and most other automakers, says the U.S. Transportation Department should “establish a robust national pilot program” for autonomous vehicle testing and deployment and create a new vehicle class for autonomous vehicles.

Current standards were written assuming the presence of a human driver, which presents a deployment barrier to vehicles without human controls like steering wheels.

The group also urges regulators to make it easier to get exemptions to temporarily deploy limited number of self-driving vehicles that do not meet safety standards. It also calls on Congress to raise the 2,500 vehicle-per manufacturer yearly cap.

Automakers also want Congress to consider providing grant funding to states that agree to a harmonize autonomous vehicle (AV) laws and regulations at the state. The U.S. government should also consider “specific tax or other incentives that support the research, development, manufacturing, and deployment of AVs in the United States.”