News Roundup: Congress Wants to Bar States From Preempting Federal Driverless Laws, Dutch Startup Amber Generates Big Buzz with Self-Driving Cars, and More

Jennifer van der Kleut

Here is our roundup of headlines to come out of the driverless vehicle industry this week.

Dutch startup Amber making waves with self-driving cars

Quite a buzz is forming around Dutch mobility startup Amber. The company has positioned itself as strong competition for larger firms like Tesla Motors, Uber, Google’s Waymo and others by announcing plans to add self-driving cars to its on-demand ride service in the Netherlands by mid-2018. Amber was originally the brainchild of students at the Eindhoven University of Technology, which is known for its advanced automotive curriculum. Amber is partnering with five different software companies and research institutes, including Nvidia and Microsoft, that have already developed self-driving software. Automotive consultancy firm Roland Berger recently ranked The Netherlands at the top of its Automotive Disruption Radar. Read more from VentureBeat.

 

Spokesperson: U.S. Congress may introduce bills this week that will bar states from preempting federal driverless laws

A spokesperson for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Subcommittee said members expect driverless vehicle legislation to be introduced as soon as this week. The legislation could then begin debate on the House floor by next week. Rumors suggest one of the biggest provisions of the legislation would bar individual states from setting their own regulations for driverless vehicles that would preempt federal regulations, and would prevent the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from pre-approving self-driving car technologies. It is also believed the legislation will allow for up to 100,000 vehicles per year per manufacturer to be exempt from from federal motor vehicle safety rules that prevent the sale of self-driving vehicles without human controls. Several auto manufacturers that are working on driverless technology, such as Tesla, Google and General Motors, have long been lobbying Congress to preempt state regulations that they feel limit the progress of the technology, particularly in California. Read more from NewsMax.

 

International survey names Tesla, Waymo, Bosch among ‘most investible’ companies in driverless race

International law firm Gowling WLG and economic research agency Explain the Market conducted a year-long survey of investors, asking them which companies they felt the most confidence investing in when it comes to autonomous vehicle technology. Auto manufacturers Tesla Motors (26%) and BMW (22%) earned the most investors’ votes in their category. Google’s Waymo won the IT firm category by a landslide with 36% of votes. The next closest company in the IT category was Apple with 11%. Among tech brands, Bosch left many others in the dust, earning 54% of investors’ votes. Read more from Information Age.

Image: Amber self-driving car, courtesy of Amber

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