The Obama administration plans to implement new guidance for the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles by early July.
“We are on the cusp of a new era in automotive technology with enormous potential to save lives, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and transform mobility for the American people,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
The proposal, outlined by Foxx and numerous auto industry and tech executives at the Detroit Auto Show, would allocate nearly $4 billion over the next 10 years to advance automotive technology.
The administration, in part, hopes to roll out pilot programs to test connected vehicle systems in select corridors throughout the country.
In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other stakeholders aimed to develop a model autonomous vehicle standard for state lawmakers to consider. Industry leaders hope to avoid a “patchwork” of widely varying state laws.
California — home to self-driving trials operated by Google — already heard considerable opposition to its autonomous car laws after announcing them last month.
DOT officials also asked manufacturers to file rule interpretation requests — and, if necessary, exemption requests — with the agency in hopes of appropriately regulating the nascent technology.
A DOT exemption could enable up to 2,500 autonomous cars to hit the nation’s highways for as many as 24 months.