Self-driving industry at 'critical juncture,' needs USDOT support -- letter

A Tesla Model 3 vehicle warns the driver to keep their hands on the wheel and be prepared to take over at anytime while driving using FSD (Full Self-Driving) in Encinitas, California, U.S., October 18, 2023. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) - A coalition of groups representing self-driving car companies and others on Thursday urged U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to support autonomous vehicles and assert federal jurisdiction.

The letter comes after the state of California suspended the permit of General Motors Cruise robotaxi to test on public roads following an Oct. 2 accident involving a pedestrian that was dragged 20 feet by a self-driving vehicle.

"The AV industry is at a critical juncture and in need of strong leadership from USDOT," said the letter signed by the Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others. "The department’s support for AV development is crucial to maintain our nation's competitive edge."

(Reporting by David Shepardson)

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