U.S. agency opens regulatory proceeding to ensure self-driving car safety

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U.S. auto safety regulators said Thursday they are opening a formal regulatory proceeding that could eventually result in the adoption of new safety standards for autonomous vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)said it was issuing an advance notice of proposed rule making to get public input on how to ensure the safety of future self-driving vehicles. Companies like General Motors Co <GM.N>, Alphabet Inc’s Waymo <GOOGL.O> and Tesla Inc <TSLA.O> are working on vehicles that can drive themselves.

“This rule making will help address legitimate public concerns about safety, security and privacy without hampering innovation in the development of automated driving systems,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao in a statement.

NHTSA said the proceeding could result in the agency issuing new guidance documents addressing best industry practices, providing information to consumers or formal regulations including rules requiring reporting and disclosures to new legally binding safety standards on automated driving systems. Any final rules are still likely years away.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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