Autonomous Vehicle Legislation Passes the Senate Commerce Committee, Full Senate Vote Next

AV graphicOn Wednesday, October 4th, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee passed legislation that paved the way for fast tracking the autonomous vehicle industry.  The American Vision for Safer Transportation through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act aims to clarify the role of both federal and state government in the autonomous vehicle ecosystem.  The bill spells out that states would continue to license, regulate insurance, and enforce traffic laws.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would play a governance role, overseeing the design and manufacture of the autonomous vehicles.  Among other highlights in the bill:

  • Would allow DOT to exempt automakers from existing safety standards, allowing the field testing (and the eventual ability to sell )of upwards of 80,000 vehicles a year
  • Mandates that manufacturers develop cybersecurity plans to prevent hacking

The bill is similar to legislation that has already passed in the House.  Neither the House nor the Senate bill would speed approval of autonomous technology for vehicles over 10,000 pounds. Companies would need to disclose to the consumer what type of information is being collected and how it is being used.

David Logsdon is CompTIA’s senior director of new and emerging technologies