WASHINGTON (July 27, 2017) – The R Street Institute welcomes today’s unanimous vote by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to approve legislation that would move federal policy toward ensuring that autonomous vehicles can make their way onto U.S. roads safely and quickly.

H.R. 3388, the Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research In Vehicle Evolution (SELF DRIVE) Act, reflects three basic principles that long have been advocated by R Street: federal supremacy over design, safety and performance standards; a meaningful role for the states in matters of licensing, registration, insurance and liability; and expansions both in the number of exemptions available from Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and in the breadth of manufacturers that would be eligible for exemptions for testing and deployment purposes.

“The act achieves all three of our key goals for legislation of this kind and provides the regulatory certainty necessary for manufacturers to move forward with aggressive development and deployment schedules that could literally save lives,” R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams said.

R Street also commends the nuanced approach the committee took to federal information-sharing and reporting requirements. While the law does mandate submission of safety assessment certificates, it would not institute a constructive pre-market approval system.

“There still could be an opportunity to strengthen the information-sharing section further by clarifying that reporting requirements related to vehicle design, safety and performance are the exclusive province of the federal government,” Adams said. “Nonetheless, overall, our hope is that the Senate will follow the House’s lead and that a version of the SELF DRIVE Act much like this one soon will become law.”

The R Street Institute is a nonprofit, free-market think tank based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to engage in policy research and outreach to promote free markets and limited, effective government.

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