Lawmakers question lack of regulation over self-driving cars

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Some in the state Legislature are questioning whether Arizona has enough regulations on companies that test self-driving vehicles. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Some in the state Legislature are questioning whether Arizona has enough regulations on companies that test self-driving vehicles. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Gov. Doug Ducey has suspended Uber's autonomous car program. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Gov. Doug Ducey has suspended Uber's autonomous car program. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
A woman was hit and killed by a self-driving car in Tempe earlier this month. (Source: Tempe Police Department) A woman was hit and killed by a self-driving car in Tempe earlier this month. (Source: Tempe Police Department)
Rep. Kelly Townsend, a Republican from Mesa, says she wants to attract cutting-edge business to Arizona but wonders if the state is too lack with its rules. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Rep. Kelly Townsend, a Republican from Mesa, says she wants to attract cutting-edge business to Arizona but wonders if the state is too lack with its rules. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
"We shouldn't of had just this wild west testing without any kind of regulation or oversight," said state Sen. Juan Mendez, a Democrat from Tempe. "We shouldn't of had just this wild west testing without any kind of regulation or oversight," said state Sen. Juan Mendez, a Democrat from Tempe.
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Following last week's deadly crash with a self-driving Uber, some lawmakers are raising questions about the lack of oversight.

There are six companies testing 600 autonomous vehicles in Arizona.

Unlike other states, the companies are not required to report much information to state regulators.

[RELATED: Uber's self-driving car crash comes amid debate about regulations]

Rep. Kelly Townsend, a Republican from Mesa, says she wants to attract cutting-edge business to Arizona but wonders if the state is too lack with its rules.

"We also want to make sure that whatever comes here is operating safety from the beginning rather than after," Towsend said.

[ORIGINAL STORY: NTSB team is in Tempe investigating self-driving Uber wreck that killed pedestrian]

Sen. Juan Mendez, a Democrat from Tempe, was more blunt, saying, "We shouldn't of had just this wild west testing without any kind of regulation or oversight."

Mendez added the state should be receiving more information from companies testing their vehicles here.

[RELATED: Report: Uber knew of problems with self-driving cars before fatal crash]

Gov. Doug Ducey has suspended Uber's autonomous car program.

[READ MORE: Governor suspends Uber's self-driving cars from operating on Arizona roads]

He also posted messages on social media, promising to hold companies like Uber accountable, but made no mention of adding regulations.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Woman killed by self-driving Uber]

A state committee in charge of overseeing self-driving cars, the Self Driving Oversight Committee, has only met once in 2016, according to records kept online by the Arizona Department of Transportation.

A spokesman for ADOT said the group has met twice, but there are no minutes of the second meeting.

[READ MORE: Uber coming to AZ to test self-driving cars, governor says 'Welcome' (Dec. 22, 2016)]

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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