WASHINGTON Oct 11 A Toyota Motor Corp
official on Tuesday raised concerns about California's plans to
require compliance with a planned U.S. autonomous vehicle safety
check list, calling it "preposterous."
Hilary Cain, director of technology and innovation policy at
Toyota Motor North America, criticized California's proposal to
require automakers to submit the U.S. National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration's (NHTSA) 15-point safety check list
before testing vehicles.
"If we don't do what's being asked of us voluntarily by
NHTSA, we cannot test an automated system in the state of
California. That is preposterous and that means testing that is
happening today could be halted and that means testing that is
about to be started could be delayed," she said at a Capitol
On September 30, California unveiled revised rules that
carmakers will have to certify that they complied with the
15-point NHTSA assessment instead of self-driving cars being
required to be tested by a third-party, as in the original
California would allow for the absence of a human driver and
a steering wheel in advanced self-driving cars, provided there
is two-way communication with the vehicle and NHTSA approval.
California will hold a public hearing on the proposal October
President Barack Obama wrote a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette op-ed
last month saying the administration is asking automakers "to
sign a 15-point safety checklist showing not just the
government, but every interested American, how they're doing
Cain also raised concerns about whether the NHTSA guidelines
are too vague. "The problem is there is going to be
accountability and there is going to be enforcement," Cain said,
saying in some areas NHTSA needs to offer more specific
guidance. "We need to go through this with a fine tooth comb."
Former NHTSA Administrator David Strickland, who now
represents self-driving advocates including Alphabet Inc's
Google unit, Ford Motor Co and Uber Technologies
, raised concerns at the forum about whether NHTSA has
the expertise to review all of the data they are seeking on
self-driving vehicles. Congress may need to "better resource the
agency to deal with this new mission," he said.
NHTSA has said it may need authority to conduct
"pre-approval" of self-driving technologies before they are
marketed. Cain said "the approach is somewhat flawed" and called
for more conversation about how consumers can be assured that
self-driving cars are safe.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told Reuters last
month he strongly believes "we'll get great compliance from the
auto industry" on voluntary self-driving guidelines.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Alistair Bell)