U.S. Regulators Propose Rules for Self-Driving Cars for the First Time

The Department of Transportation has proposed easing certain safety requirements for self-driving cars, a step toward modernizing some regulations so truly driverless cars can one day travel on the nation’s highways.

Under the revised rules, cars that drive themselves would no longer be required to have steering wheels, the DOT said in a statement Tuesday. The proposal also includes other smaller changes, such as allowing for seating arrangements in autonomous vehicles so that passengers can face each other.

Regulators will be accepting and analyzing comments from the auto industry, safety groups, and the public before making the proposed rule changes final. Comments can be submitted over the next 60 days to regulations.gov or faxed to 202-493-2251. Submissions must include the name of the agency, NHTSA, and the docket number, NHTSA-2020-0014.

Consumer Reports believes that NHTSA’s approach to regulating self-driving technology development has been too hands-off and doesn’t put safety first.