WASHINGTON — As autonomous vehicle testing advances without cohesive federal guidelines, companies are operating under inconsistent or nonexistent rules for how and whether a vehicle is monitored and controlled on the road.

There are no federal rules requiring companies testing self-driving vehicles on public roads to have the ability to control them remotely. And of the five states where companies most frequently test autonomous vehicles — California, Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Florida — Pennsylvania is the only one to require that a human have the ability to take over controls if need be, mandating that a driver be in the car while it’s tested.

Safety advocates argue the complex and varied rules for remote monitoring, guidance and control are emblematic of a larger problem: Autonomous vehicles in the U.S. remain largely unregulated, making it difficult to track safety progress as the technology advances.



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