Volvo warns US it’s lagging behind on driverless car laws

At an event in Washington DC, Volvo head Håkan Samuelsson urged the US to modernise and reform its laws on driverless technology. Previously a pioneer in driverless laws, the US was the first to let Google test its autonomous car on its roads, but now Samuelsson believes it’s in danger of lagging behind the UK and Europe.

Volvo warns US it’s lagging behind on driverless car laws

The problem? Most states in the US have their own laws on driverless cars, and that creates issues when trying to create a product for nationwide use. “The US risks losing its leading position due to the lack of federal guidelines for the testing and certification of autonomous vehicles,” warned Samuelsson.

The result? Driverless technology is actually being hindered by backwards government thinking. “The absence of one set of rules means car makers cannot conduct credible tests to develop cars that meet all the different guidelines of all 50 US states,” explained Samuelsson. “If we are to ensure a smooth transition to autonomous mobility, then together we must create the necessary framework that will support this.”


Law keeping up with tech

Driverless technology may be progressing in leaps and bounds, but the laws to police it are not. Nvidia is using deep learning to develop self-driving cars, while Google, Audi and Tesla are all pushing the boundaries of autonomous technology – but governments are being slow to develop proper regulations, and it’s slowing the technology down.

Samuelsson also warned that “Europe has suffered to some extent by having a patchwork of rules and regulations. It would be a shame if the US took a similar path to Europe in this crucial area.” However, the Continent – and particularly the UK – has begun to reverse the trend. Only three months ago, new guidelines put in place by the UK government have put Britain at the forefront of autonomous testing.volvo_autonomous_us_laws_2

It’s not the first time governments have been caught out by new technology. Back in July, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority was forced to release a drone code, while in the US there are still no solid, federal laws to prohibit the use of drones in sensitive areas.

To find out how deep learning could be the future of electric cars, read: Driverless cars will learn from their mistakes

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