U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is expected to unveil streamlined safety guidelines for automakers that want to deploy self-driving vehicles today.
The new Transportation Department policy is expected to offer the lighter regulatory touch that automakers have pushed for. For example, the Transportation Department is expected to state that automakers do not have to seek approval from regulators before putting self-driving vehicles on the road.
Separately, the National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday is expected to release findings that Tesla Inc's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode was a contributing factor in the May 2016 death of a motorist. That case has highlighted concerns about the design of systems that automate some, but not all, driving tasks.
The new document is titled "A Vision for Safety" and will be less than half the length of the Obama administration guidelines released in September 2016. Chao is expected to make the announcement in Ann Arbor, Mich., at a self-driving testing facility.
The Transportation Department is releasing its voluntary safety standards at the same time a bipartisan coalition in Congress is moving forward on legislation also designed to speed commercialization of self-driving cars without human controls and bar states from blocking their deployment. On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously on a measure to clear legal obstacles that could discourage automakers and technology companies from putting self-driving cars into broader use.