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Senate Democrats urge crackdown on autonomous vehicles and driver assist

Self-driving Waymo cars on the road in Santa Monica
Image: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Two prominent Senate Democrats are calling for increased scrutiny of autonomous vehicles and advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) like Tesla’s Autopilot, arguing that the unimpeded flow of highly automated vehicles on public roads in recent years risks exacerbating the traffic safety crisis in the US.

Automakers and tech companies say the technology can lead to safer streets. But there have been a number of high-profile incidents in recent years involving fully autonomous vehicles, as well as hundreds of crashes and dozens of fatalities in vehicles equipped with advanced driver-assist systems. The two senators, Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Ed Markey (D-MA), argue that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s regulatory…

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