WASHINGTON (Sept. 6, 2017) – The R Street Institute applauds the U.S. House for today’s passage of H.R. 3388, the SELF DRIVE Act. This legislation will help clear regulatory roadblocks to developing and deploying driverless cars, while maintaining important tools to ensure public safety.
“Last year, more than 40,000 Americans were killed in auto accidents, 94 percent of which were the result of human error,” said R Street Associate Vice President Ian Adams. “Driverless cars don’t get drunk or drowsy. Every day that they aren’t safely deployed on American roads means more lives that could have been saved.”
This legislation leaves the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to enforce vehicle safety standards—autonomous or otherwise—just as it has been doing for decades with human-operated vehicles. It would, however, raise the cap on exemptions from Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), which is crucial to allowing companies to conduct much more rigorous testing and deploy autonomous technologies more quickly.
By avoiding a patchwork of design, performance and safety standards at the state and local level, manufacturers will not be driven to “shop” for friendlier regulatory environments across state lines or be forced into the compliance nightmare presented by the development of 50 or more conflicting standards.
“The SELF DRIVE Act reflects the need for safety and flexibility. It will give manufacturers and developers the confidence they need to invest in the technology’s future and give the public the confidence necessary to use the technology,” Adams said.