Teamsters union tackles self-driving trucks issue, calls for comprehensive federal rules on autonomous vehicles

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The Teamsters Union is calling for any federal legislation regarding self-driving technology to take into account public safety and the millions of working Americans employed in transportation and related industries.

At a public hearing on Capitol Hill this week, House lawmakers discussed 14 pieces of draft legislation on self-driving vehicles. The bills could be combined into a final package for introduction in the 115th Congress.

The Teamsters Union has been closely monitoring all aspects of the technology, urging lawmakers to prioritize safety and transparency in rules concerning the testing phase of self-driving vehicles.  Continue reading Teamsters union tackles self-driving trucks issue, calls for comprehensive federal rules on autonomous vehicles

Driverless cars set to take to the roads much faster than anticipated as Colorado passes first law regulating the technology

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Picture of driverless car with “passenger” in driving seat… courtesy of Volvo

The sheer speed with which driverless cars have gone from a fanciful notion to soon-to-be real-world, mainstream standard technology might be bewildering to some and slightly worrying to others. 

But for proponents and supporters of the technology – of which there are many, both inside the industry as well as in society at large – the driverless car was always clearly on the horizon, and it’s imminent arrival is not a moment too soon.

Colorado has become the latest state to pass a law which allows the development of autonomous cars as long as the developers observe existing laws of the road.  Continue reading Driverless cars set to take to the roads much faster than anticipated as Colorado passes first law regulating the technology

Robots will become ‘electronic persons’ under European Union plan

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The European Union is considering giving robots human rights under a plan to classify them as “electronic persons” and making their owners liable to pay taxes on their behalf, according to Reuters

What’s been called a “robot revolution” in recent years has led to millions of robots of all types being built and utilised in almost every area of society – from robotic arms in the manufacturing industry, through autonomous vehicles in transportation, to domestic or service robots in commercial buildings and in the home.

No one knows exactly what the robot population on Earth is, but it’s likely to overtake segments of the human population in some countries within a decade or two. Moreover, a very large proportion of future robots are likely to be humanoids.

This massive growth of robotics and autonomous technologies has led the European Parliament’s committee on legal affairs to draft a resolution saying “that at least the most sophisticated autonomous robots could be established as having the status of electronic persons with specific rights and obligations”. Continue reading Robots will become ‘electronic persons’ under European Union plan

Engineers’ institute welcomes laws requiring driverless vehicles to have certificates

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Driverless car software will require certificates from the Ministry of Transport before being allowed on the road. Picture courtesy: E&T IET

The UK is to introduce laws and regulations that will require driverless vehicle software makers to obtain Ministry of Transport certificates 

New laws announced in the Queen’s Speech recently will allow fully autonomous vehicles to be insured under normal policies in the UK.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) says the announcement is an “important step forward” which will ultimately improve road safety and reduce congestion. 

But the IET adds that the Government also needs to introduce legislation to improve cyber security in autonomous vehicles.  Continue reading Engineers’ institute welcomes laws requiring driverless vehicles to have certificates