Autonomous car developers lobby to defang safety data regulations

The fast-rising autonomous vehicle industry is lobbying federal safety regulators to limit the amount of data companies must report every time their cars crash, arguing that the current requirements get in the way of innovation that will benefit the public.

The industry’s efforts to make driving safer and more accessible are at risk of being “drowned out by misinformation, inflation or dubious data without context” under reporting rules issued last summer by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says Ariel Wolf, general counsel for the industry lobbying group Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets. Among its members: Alphabet-owned Waymo, Argo, Ford, General Motors, Cruise, Volvo, Aurora, Motional, Zoox, Uber and Lyft.

“The reporting process may generate flawed data while placing a heavy reporting burden on [automated vehicle] developers that unintentionally impedes deployment of safety-enhancing AV technology,” the coalition said in a separate media release.