WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Communications and Technology Subcommittee Republican Leader Bob Latta (R-OH) reintroduced the Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research in Vehicle Evolution (SELF DRIVE) Act. This bill creates a much-needed federal framework to help the U.S. deploy autonomous vehicles (AVs).
While the benefits of AVs for American consumers – improving roadway safety, supporting self-sufficiency for seniors and those with disabilities, and more – were known well before COVID-19, the pandemic has proven another important benefit: contactless deliveries. We’ve seen AVs being put to work to help deliver medical supplies, groceries, and other supplies in local communities, and a recent study showed AV deliveries can help our economy, public safety, carbon footprint, and more. A federal framework will provide innovators with the certainty they need to speed up deployment of these vehicles without compromising consumer safety.
Last year, the SELF DRIVE Act was not only supported by every Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, but also passed in the House of Representatives unanimously. Unfortunately, two years later, House Democrats have seemed to put their focus on supporting the trial bar’s monetary interests over roadway safety and U.S. leadership against China and other bad actors.
Read more in Axios and find a few highlights below.
By Ashley Gold
September 23, 2020
In a renewed push to get an autonomous vehicles bill through Congress, Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) is reintroducing the SELF Drive Act Wednesday, Latta told Axios.
The big picture: New policy legislation is a long shot in the short Congressional calendar leading up to Election Day. But Latta’s effort shows the importance many lawmakers put on promoting a U.S. lead in the development of self-driving vehicles.
What they’re saying: “The technology is changing, and we don’t want the Chinese to lead,” Latta, ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce technology and communications subcommittee, told Axios. “We’ve got to keep moving on it for safety’s sake.”
Without federal standards, the industry is relying on a patchwork of state laws, and consumer advocates complain about safety risks of AV testing on public roads.
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