The United States Congress has unanimously approved a massive proposal that will allow the introduction and deployment of self-driving cars to move into high gear. Moreover, the House also moved to make sure that individual states can’t pass their own laws to autonomous cars without a human driver monitoring the vehicle. The bill will still allow states to control registrations, licensing, safety inspections, and liability but forbid them from enacting independent performance standards. While the bill is still not the law of the land, as it now needs to go to the Senate for final approval, observers are confident that the bill will meet little resistance.
The self-driving cars bill calls for new regulations that enable manufacturers to build and sell up to 25,000 vehicles a year that don’t have to meet the existing standards for human-centered safety features. This cap will move to 100,000 per year over the next three years. Most of the tech companies such as Google and auto manufacturers like General Motors have been pushing hard to get this bill passed as quickly as possible. The only issue that might come up is that the proposed legislation does not cover commercial self-driving trucks.
As noted previously, the bill’s proponents claim that the bill will help to speed the development of autonomous cars that can mitigate future accidents and congestion. Opponents claim that there will be road pandemonium without more carefully considered regulations as automakers test numerous self-driving cars in the wild.