Congress to Draft New AV BillAugust 28, 2019
As 2020 looms on the horizon, Congress is rallying support in drafting revised legislature that will rev up renewed interest in getting autonomous vehicles (AV) on the road in the United States. The House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee are collaborating on a revision to last year’s AV START Act that was defeated over concern for safety protections. Despite revisions to the bill, the Senate refused to pass it. With new collaboration between both the House and the Senate, legislators are hopeful that the Democratic concerns can be successfully addressed.
The bipartisan committees have held meetings in the past months to work out the details of their renewed efforts. A letter was recently sent to automotive manufacturers and safety advocacy groups asking for input on key issues affecting autonomous vehicles, such as cyber security, privacy, disability access, and testing protocols. By reaching out to AV stakeholders, the legislators hope to satisfy the concerns of all interested parties.
The Future of AVs
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is pushing for passage of new legislature that will allow autonomous vehicle manufacturers to increase the safety of all drivers and passengers on the road. Plans for the development of autonomous vehicles without steering wheels, gas pedals, and brake pedals bring new regulatory challenges to the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS).
If the new legislation passes, the United States could see sales of Ford and General Motors autonomous vehicles soon. In retrospect, AV manufacturers are facing their own dilemmas as they work to revise and perfect the technology of self-driving cars. While technological components in self-driving test cars have proven to increase safety and reduce the risk of accidents, challenges remain.
If legislators are successful in their new venture to promote development and sales of autonomous vehicles, manufacturers and developers of these self-driving cars need time to perfect and improve the technology that has already been tested, and address concerns over privacy and cyber security risks. The fine tuning and continuous development of autonomous vehicles may delay sales and implementation more than Congress and the Senate.
Automotive manufacturers predict the industry will move forward in implementing AVs in the future, but it may take a lot longer than legislators anticipate. Introduction of autonomous features, such as self-parking technology and lane-shifting sensors, are becoming standard on most new vehicles, which will lead the way for more autonomous technology to be added to future automobiles. Unfortunately, the day that a fully automated vehicle hits the market may be farther away than once anticipated.
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