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From NAM: Senate holds hearing on driverless vehicle technology

McClatchy (5/16, Wise) reports on driverless cars and notes that “at a Senate hearing Wednesday, lawmakers grappled with the policy implications and risks posed by the latest advancements in vehicle technology, and pondered what rules or standards might be needed nationwide.” Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, asked, “As our cars become more connected – to the Internet, to wireless networks, with each other and with our infrastructure – are they at risk of catastrophic cyberattacks?” Meanwhile, “David Strickland, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said his agency had created a new division within the Office of Vehicle Safety Research to focus on cybersecurity.”

The Hill (5/16, Laing) reports in its “Transportation” blog that “the top ranking Republican on the Senate’s Transportation committee, Sen. John Thune (R-SD), expressed more optimism about driverless cars and other new automation technologies for vehicles.” Meanwhile, Automobile Manufactures President Mitch Bainwol told the panel that “given that more than 90 percent of crashes result from human mistakes, the combination of emerging driver-assist features, connectivity and ultimately autonomous vehicles offer the promise of safer mobility.” Bainwol added that the hurdles to implementation of safety technology are “(1) Consumer acceptance, (2) product liability, (3) connectivity and (4) fleet mix concerns.”

Also reporting on the hearing are Bloomberg News (5/16, Keane), the Detroit News (5/15, Shepardson), and the Clarksburg (WV) Exponent-Telegram (5/16).

Survey Shows Drivers Increasingly Comfortable With Autonomous Vehicles.Bloomberg BusinessWeek (5/15, Fitchard) reports, “The auto industry has long said that one of the biggest obstacles to commercializing the self-driving vehicle is consumer mindset: Not everyone is comfortable handing the wheel to the in-dash computer while hurtling down the highway.” However, “a new study by Cisco Systems (CSCO) shows that consumers around the world may be more amenable to the autonomous vehicle than has been thought.” BusinessWeek reports that “in a global survey of 1,514 consumers aged 18 or older, Cisco found that 57 percent would put their trust in a driverless vehicle.” In the US, 60 percent were comfortable. MSN Autos(5/16, Newcomb) also reports.

WAVE-TV Louisville, KY (5/16, MacDonald) also reports on its website on the privacy implications of increased technology in vehicles.

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