Self-Driving Industry Reaches Fork in The Road Requiring USDOT Support

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In a collective appeal on Thursday, a coalition comprising various entities advocating for self-driving car companies beseeched U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to endorse autonomous vehicles and affirm federal jurisdiction. The request follows the suspension of General Motors’ (GM.N) Cruise robotaxi permit by the state of California, a move prompted by an October 2nd incident in which a pedestrian was dragged 20 feet by a self-driving vehicle.

The Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and additional signatories, emphasized the pivotal ‘fork in the road’ moment facing the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry. In their letter, the coalition stressed the necessity for robust leadership from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), asserting that the department’s unwavering support for AV development is imperative to sustain the nation’s competitive advantage.

The coalition’s plea underscores the broader implications of the California incident, positioning it as a critical juncture that demands decisive action and guidance from federal authorities. The stakeholders argue that federal involvement and advocacy for autonomous vehicles are essential not only for the growth and progress of the AV industry but also for maintaining the United States’ leadership position in this rapidly evolving technological landscape. As the industry seeks a path forward, the letter to Secretary Buttigieg serves as a call for proactive measures and a collaborative approach to navigate the challenges posed by incidents like the one involving General Motors’ Cruise robotaxi.

Source: Reuters


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