The “Self Drive Act” (H.R. 3388), which sets new federal self-driving car measures, is smoothly going through the legislative process with apparent bipartisan support.
It was unanimously approved by the U.S. House today.
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The main goal of the bill is to prohibit states from creating laws regulating autonomous driving technology which could make it difficult to navigate the regulatory landscape between different jurisdictions. Some states have already created their own regulatory landscape for autonomous vehicles and companies have been testing their systems where possible.
Furthermore, it would enable tech companies and automakers to deploy up to 100,000 self-driving cars that wouldn’t comply with normal safety standards per year.
The bill also includes guidelines and timelines for the adoption of new safety standards related to autonomous driving, like with human-machine interaction, cyber security, and clear definition of self-driving capacity.
It can still be somewhat vague, but the goal is for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA) to get more oversight responsibilities and they should then introduce more guidelines for the companies developing the technology to follow.
The bill is now moving to the Senate for approval before becoming law.
Here’s the bill in full: