WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao unveiled her department’s new suggested guidance for automated vehicles during her keynote speech at this week’s CES conference. The guidance has already been criticized for being “a rehashed, regurgitated and poorly reconstituted version” of the agency’s previously issued “hands-off” guidelines, and for doing too little to regulate vehicles, potentially endangering public safety. Restore Public Trust released the following statement in response:
“At the Department of Transportation, loose regulation — not safety — is the name of the game,” said Lizzy Price, director of Restore Public Trust. “Even after criticism from lawmakers for its lax regulation of Boeing, Secretary Elaine Chao’s transportation department is still attempting to scale back regulation instead of prioritizing people’s safety. It’s time that Chao’s department of transportation put Americans’ safety first, especially when it comes to new technology like automated vehicles.”
The standards are just the latest in the DOT’s pattern of limiting regulations instead of strengthening them, including the agency’s announcement last month of a “rule on rules” meant to roll back regulation efforts department-wide. The pattern persists despite serious criticism from lawmakers of the FAA for its failure to adequately regulate Boeing amid a series of fatal crashes.