Representatives of both America’s main political parties have given support to a driverless car bill, which could lead to the first set of federal laws for the industry.
The website The Hill reports that the “Self Drive Act” was unanimously approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee in July, before Congress left for August recess, and passed the full House on a voice vote.
“Self-driving cars hold the promise of making America’s roads safer, creating new economic opportunities, and helping seniors and those with disabilities live more independently,” it quotes Commerce Chairman Greg Walden and fellow Republican Bob Latta as saying in a joint statement. “This bipartisan bill paves the way for advanced collision avoidance systems and self-driving cars nationwide, and ensures that America stays a global leader in innovation.”
It says the bill would pre-empt states from implementing certain laws governing the new technology. It would also allow car manufacturers to deploy up to 100,000 self-driving cars a year that don’t meet normal safety standards. In the first year, however, that number will be capped at 25,000.
States will still be responsible for vehicle registration, insurance, driver education, law enforcement and other local issues. Manufacturers will be required to include cybersecurity and privacy protections in their vehicles. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be in charge of regulating the industry’s traffic safety standards.