Safety Advocates Urge Congress to Go Slow on Driverless Cars

The proposals under consideration by lawmakers have been largely praised by trade groups for automakers, which have called for the federal government to take the lead and regulate with a light touch. But safety and consumer advocates expressed concern about self-driving cars hitting the road in larger numbers without a framework to evaluate safety.

“We think that before automated vehicles are put on the roads, they should be required to go through a functional safety evaluation,” Cathy Chase, vice president of governmental affairs for Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, said in an interview before the hearing. “We think that’s a very basic precursor.”