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GM, Toyota Call for Eased Autonomous Car Regulations

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Sen. Gary Peters
Sen. Gary Peters is exploring legislation that "clears hurdles and advances innovation in self-driving vehicle technology" and hopes to propose a joint bill this year.

Feb. 14, 2017—General Motors and Toyota officials will meet with a U.S. House panel to discuss easing safety rules for self-driving cars.

"Without changes to those regulations, it may be years before the promise of today’s technology can be realized and thousands of preventable deaths that could have been avoided will happen," said Mike Abelson, vice president of global strategy at GM, in written testimony released Monday. "It is imperative that manufacturers have the ability to test these vehicles in greater numbers."

On Monday, Senator Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, and Senator John Thune, the Republican chairman of the Commerce Committee, said in a joint statement they are exploring legislation that "clears hurdles and advances innovation in self-driving vehicle technology" and hope to propose a joint bill this year.

Under current law, the U.S. Transportation Department can exempt up to 2,500 vehicles in a 12-month period from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) vehicle rules. Representative Debbie Dingell, a Michigan Democrat, said last month she is preparing legislation that would lift the existing cap.

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