Is Pennsylvania Allowing Uber to Test Self-Driving Cars Without Rules?

Car of road accidentA report in the Tribune-Review revealed that Uber is attempting to convince PennDOT to delay recent policy recommendations regarding testing self-driving cars in Pennsylvania.

Why Does Uber Want Pennsylvania to Delay Recommended Rules for Self-Driving Cars?

Reportedly, Uber is testing out self-driving cars in Pittsburgh as the company seeks to add driverless automobiles to its fleet of vehicles. This comes at a time when PennDOT’s Pennsylvania Autonomous Vehicles Task Force has just put together recommendations for self-driving car testing rules for the state.

However, the task force’s policy recommendations appear to be too strict for Uber’s liking. Therefore, Uber is requesting that PennDOT put aside the task force’s recommendations and create simpler autonomous car testing rules. The recommended policies are ultimately a stopgap until the state’s legislature can pass self-driving car testing laws, which may not happen until next year at the earliest, per the Tribune-Review report.

Uber’s issue with the task force’s recommendations seem to stem from policies that would enable state officials to gain access to Uber’s data regarding driverless car performance. In some instances, these policies would allow the state to decide where self-driving cars can operate. Other rules in the policy include but are not limited to the following:

  • Companies must notify the state before testing self-driving cars without having a human operator in the vehicle
  • Temporarily restricting driverless cars from traveling on certain roadways
  • Having companies provide certification that their self-driving cars have cyber security protections installed

While self-driving vehicles may prevent car accidents in the future, right now they are still unproven and could pose a danger to anyone sharing the road with them.

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