Congress Attempts Once More to Advance Self-Driving Car Legislation

August 1, 2019
Written by Folake Dosu

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Congress is once again attempting to make inroads on self-driving cars. Reuters reports that House Energy and Commerce Committee and Senate Commerce Committee have kicked up efforts to push legislation needed to accelerate the adoption of autonomous vehicles

The committees sent a formal request for input to automakers, safety groups and others interested in the bill, telling these stakeholders of their intent to build “bipartisan and bicameral basis to develop a self-driving car bill,” according to the outlet.

An earlier effort in December went nowhere, leaving companies such as GM and Alphabet’s Waymo hanging in the balance while Congress adjourned with no legislation on self-driving cars passed.

In a statement, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, representing General Motors, Volkswagen AG, Toyota Motor Corp and others, applauded the latest development.

“Right now various countries are exploring regulations that will shape the future of autonomous vehicles, and the U.S. risks losing its leadership in this life-saving, life-changing technology, so we urge Congress to move forward now, this year.”

“Right now various countries are exploring regulations that will shape the future of autonomous vehicles, and the U.S. risks losing its leadership in this life-saving, life-changing technology, so we urge Congress to move forward now, this year,” spokeswoman Gloria Bergquist said.

Congress is seeking to gather input on existing and new federal rules, including testing, privacy, disability access, cybersecurity, consumer education and crash data by August 23.

In September 2017, U.S. House unanimously passed legislation by voice vote in favor of faster adoption of self-driving cars. The bill, which had exemptions from safety rules that require human controls, did not advance in the Senate last year. Some Democrats were unconvinced that the bill had sufficient provisions in that regard.

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