Automakers push autonomous vehicle bill at Detroit Auto Show

Automakers and elected officals expressed hope at the North American International Auto Show (a.k.a, the Detroit Auto Show) last week that Congress would soon pass the stalled autonomous vehicle (AV) bill, though they admitted it could be several months. Legislation not related to the budget will clearly have to wait a while.

If the bill passed, automakers could sell up to 80,000 AVs a year, each within three years if the companies can show AVs are as safe as conventional vehicles. Opponents say the bill lacks sufficient safety measures. AVs would not have some of the basic elements  of conventional vehicles, including steering wheels and brakes. Thanks to the work of NADA, WANADA and other U.S. dealer associations, the bill includes state franchise law protections for dealers.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers urged quick passage of the bill. The OEM group has emphasized how AVs could help disabled and blind consumers.

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