"With this legislation, innovation can flourish without the heavy hand of government," Ohio Republican Bob Latta said on the House floor ahead of the voice vote in the chamber last week. Latta is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee that developed the legislation.
The action now moves to the Senate, where Republican John Thune of South Dakota and Democrats Bill Nelson of Florida and Gary Peters of Michigan are leading work on legislation of their own. The trio serve on the Senate commerce committee, announced a Sept. 13 hearing to examine autonomous commercial vehicles and how they may fit into the Senate’s self-driving vehicle legislation. The House bill only applies to passenger cars and light trucks.
The House bill would put the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in charge of regulating self-driving car safety and preempt competing rules at the state level.
Manufacturers would eventually be able to introduce as many as 100,000 self-driving cars per year that don’t comply with current safety rules that assume the presence of a human driver. It also instructs NHTSA to develop new standards for self-driving cars. Companies must draft security and privacy plans for autonomous vehicles and document their approach for ensuring self-driving car safety.
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