Senators demand answers on the safety of self-driving cars

Members of a U.S. Senate committee Wednesday questioned whether the Trump administration is doing enough to protect the public from self-driving cars under development in dozens of states.

A day after a federal investigatory board made recommendations in the aftermath of a pedestrian being killed by a self-driving test vehicle in March 2018, several senators raised concerns that federal agencies still don’t require safety assessments from companies testing self-driving vehicles and haven’t put in place specific standards for the development of autonomous vehicles.

“What’s wrong with having minimum safety standards now?” asked Sen. Marie Cantwell, D-Washington, as she questioned officials with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which oversees federal standards on vehicles. “We’ve had people testify they don’t want to see them (self-driving cars) in their cul-de-sac because they don’t know what they’re doing.”