The House of Representatives just took a big step toward putting together the first set of federal laws for self-driving cars.
The House unanimously approved on Wednesday the Self Drive Act, a bipartisan bill that limits states from controlling how automakers construct and design self-driving cars. It would also allow automakers to deploy 25,000 self-driving cars in the first year, a number that would rise to 100,000 over a three-year time span.
States will still be able to set regulations on registration, safety inspections, licensing, and insurance. Per the bill, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will still be tasked with setting regulations for the manufacturing of self-driving vehicles.
The bill will next go up for a vote in the Senate, which will debate how self-driving vehicles will affect everything from jobs to congestion. The Senate will hold a hearing on September 13 on the deployment of self-driving trucks, Reuters reported.
The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, which includes companies like Ford and Google’s Waymo, has called for the federal government to release regulations dictating the use of self-driving vehicles to prevent states from releasing disparate regulations that hinder deployment.
“The Coalition is grateful for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s bipartisan leadership on the SELF DRIVE Act, and we look forward to working with members of the House and Senate to enact autonomous vehicle legislation that enhances safety, creates new mobility opportunities, and facilitates innovation,” the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets wrote in a Wednesday statement.