Jul 31, 2019 - Technology

Jump-start appears for stalled self-driving car bill

An illustration of a car holding a bill.

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Congress appears to be trying to revive efforts to pass legislation on self-driving cars, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Without federal standards, automakers and tech companies have to deal with a patchwork of state laws that they say is hampering the rollout of the technology. Consumer advocates want assurances that AVs are safe.

What's happening: Hope had faded for an AV bill anytime soon after Congress abandoned its efforts on the issue last December. "But a bipartisan contingent in both the Senate and House [has] held five meetings in recent weeks to see if they can forge a deal," according to The Verge.

  • In 2017, the House, with a Republican majority, passed the SELF DRIVE Act, but the Senate's similar AV START Act failed to pass after Democrats raised safety concerns.
  • The new bipartisan bill has input from both chambers.
  • The Energy and Commerce Committee said in a statement on Tuesday it is “committed to finding a solution that balances the American creative spirit with a clear federal framework that advances technology that will save lives, improve mobility for so many, and drive economic growth."
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