Published: Fri, September 08, 2017
Economy | By Guillermo Lane

Autonomous vehicle legislation passes easily in US House

Autonomous vehicle legislation passes easily in US House

The U.S. House approved a bipartisan bill that, if passed by the Senate, would create a federal framework for regulating self-driving cars and give companies racing to deploy the technology the ability to scale up more quickly. "We look forward to continue working with Members on both sides of the aisle in the House and the Senate to enhance auto safety and expanded mobility that will further solidify USA innovation and leadership".

Additionally, the bill proposes to prevent USA states from creating laws that will control the development and performance of self-driving vehicles and will transfer the power exclusively to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Experts have said that self-driving cars will drastically reduce road fatalities, most of which are caused by human error. That cap would rise to 100,000 per company per year in three years' time. Meanwhile, the states will handle matters like inspections, insurance and liability.

Reuters reported Tuesday that U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao will unveil revised self-driving guidelines on Tuesday in Ann Arbor, Michigan, citing sources.

"Gizmodo quoted Ohio Republican Bob Latta as saying", With this legislation, innovation can flourish without the heavy hand of government".

Automakers and tech companies have warned of a potential patchwork of rules, where 50 states deliver 50 different sets of rules for self-driving vehicles.

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The bill - which takes the abbreviated name of the SELF DRIVE Act - is meant to get vehicles without manual controls to market and prohibit states from blocking the technology's sale or use.

The Senate has also been working on its own self-driving bill, and plans to hold a hearing in September to debate whether it will cover trucking as well.

"The future of the automobile is here and this bill will give the automotive industry the tools it needs to completely revolutionize how we will get around for decades to come", said Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Companies like Google-owned Waymo, Telsa, Uber, and longtime automotive manufacturers such as General Motors, have had to tiptoe around strict regulations in their testing of autonomous auto tech, and this legislation would certainly remove some of those road blocks.

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