The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bipartisan bill aiming to clear the path for driverless vehicles.
The SELF DRIVE Act, passed by a unanimous voice vote, “clarifies the federal and state roles for regulating highly automated vehicles (HAVs) to encourage the testing, development and deployment of HAVs in the United States,” U.S. Rep. and bill sponsor Debbie Dingell explained in a news release.
The bill also requires states to adhere to federal laws regulating autonomous vehicles.
With passage of the bill, “we are one step closer to reshaping American innovation for generations to come,” said Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan. “Automated vehicles have the potential to transform mobility in this country – reducing congestion on our roads, providing greater independence to seniors and those with disabilities, and helping to prevent the 35,000 deaths on our roadways each year.”
Dingell also said the bill is about keeping the United States on equal footing with other nations that are developing self-driving vehicles.
“Automated vehicles are going to be developed whether we like it or not,” Dingell said. “The question is whether the United States will remain in the driver’s seat as opposed to China, Japan or even the EU, who are all making significant investments in this space.”
Dingell noted that the bill includes “important safety provisions,” including requirements for manufacturers to submit safety-assessment certifications and develop written cybersecurity plans for driverless vehicles. The bill also directs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop new HAV standards.