WASHINGTON DC–Lawmakers are moving closer to creating autonomous vehicle legislation, reports The Verge.
Stakeholders in the autonomous vehicle industry had mostly given up hope of getting anything done this year, after the failure of legislation last year and the lack of action in the months that followed. But a bipartisan contingent in both the Senate and House have held five meetings in recent weeks to see if they can forge a deal.
The new bill is being written with input from both chambers in the hopes of avoiding last year’s breakdown. In late 2017, the then Republican-controlled House passed the SELF DRIVE Act, which would speed the adoption of self-driving cars and bar states from setting performance standards.
But a complementary bill in the Senate, AV START, failed to pass after Democrats raised objections that it didn’t do enough to address safety concerns. The hope is that with Democrats now in control of the House, a bill can be crafted from the start that addresses those concerns.
Of course, the new bill could run into the same headwinds as the old one. Supporters of the legislation made a last-minute push late last year, amending the bill to address many of the Democratic members’ concerns, but the bill still failed to pass. The last version would have directed federal regulators to collect crash information for so-called Level 2 semi-autonomous systems like Tesla’s Autopilot and GM’s Super Cruise.