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Automakers Want Changes to Proposal for Licensing Self-Driving Cars

Car coalition maintains proposed framework is too strict, intrudes on federal responsibility

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Automakers are trying to pump the brakes on a proposal to license self-driving cars in Indiana.

The House unanimously approved a bill setting up an approval process for self-driving cars. Valparaiso Republican Ed Soliday says it's no different from what you do at the BMV -- if your driving record shows you're not a safe driver, you can lose your license. 

But automotive groups working on self-driving vehicles contend the proposal is too strict. It would require applications for a self-driving vehicle to be approved by a task force representing the BMV, State Police, Department of Insurance, INDOT, and local government. That board could also revoke licenses if vehicles didn't perform safely.

David Strickland works with a coalition of Ford, Volvo, Uber, Lyft and Waymo. He says the federal government, not the states, should be in charge of regulating motor vehicle safety standards.

Governor Holcomb requested the bill to lay the groundwork for self-driving cars on Indiana roads, and potentially for research and development projects in the state. Strickland says research efforts could indeed locate in Indiana, but not if the bill passes in its current form.

The bill also calls for enhancements to lane markings and road signs to make them easier for computerized drivers to spot.

A Senate committee will act on the bill in two weeks.

(Photo: Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS via Getty Images)

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