In U.S., the House Energy & Commerce Committee has unanimously passed SELF DRIVE Act, according to reports. The act would put federal regulators in the driver’s seat and bar states from blocking autonomous vehicles. The proposal would speed up the deployment of self-driving cars without human controls. The House measure is being praised by the Automakers, business groups, and advocates for the blind.
Features of the bill:
- The automakers to can get exemptions to deploy up to 25,000 vehicles without meeting existing auto safety standards in the first year.
- The cap can be raised over three years to 100,000 vehicles annually.
- Manufacturers will have to demonstrate self-driving cars are at least as safe as existing vehicles for getting approval.
- States would not set rules on performance standards but registration, licensing, liability, insurance, and safety inspections would be under the states.
- The automakers would not require pre-market approval of advanced vehicle technologies but they would have to submit safety assessment reports to regulators.
The federal rules, at present bar self-driving cars without human controls on U.S. roads and the states too have different rules in the absence of clear federal guidance. Automakers and technology companies are expecting to deploy self-driving cars around 2020. It was being demanded by these companies to have new federal rules making it easier to deploy the self-driving technology. The measure would now go to the Senate, where a bipartisan group of lawmakers has been working on similar legislation. It needs to be seen how the House and Senate settle on a version of the legislation.