House bill would exempt 100,000 autonomous cars from safety rules
States would not be able to write their own laws governing autonomous vehicles under a bill proposed by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed, the measure would be a victory for automakers as they seek to avoid a patchwork of state laws, as they did with fuel economy standards.
Under the bill, federal regulators could not require approval of autonomous vehicles before they are tested on public roads. That would be very different from the guidelines developed under the Obama administration, which recommended that automakers voluntarily report on their testing of autonomous vehicles before putting them on the road. The Republican plan would treat data from testing of the cars as confidential business information.
The bill would also exempt up to 100,000 autonomous vehicles from federal safety standards, such as requirements for steering wheels and pedals. Current law sets the limit at 2,500 vehicles.
In recent testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee, Mitch Bainwol of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers urged Congress to work to eliminate laws that would unduly burden or restrict the use of self-driving vehicles in the future.Download Bulletin PDF