House Plans Several Bills on Self-Driving Cars, Will Work With Senate

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The House aims to pass several bills this year focused on self-driving cars, and lawmakers will collaborate with their colleagues in the Senate, where bipartisan legislative efforts are already underway, a key House subcommittee chairman said Tuesday.

“Throughout the year, the committee will work with our colleagues in the Senate, industry leaders, and safety advocates to advance a number of bills that will prioritize safety and build consumer confidence in self-driving cars,” Rep. Bob Latta, head of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, said in an emailed statement to Morning Consult following a panel hearing on the deployment of autonomous vehicles.

The Ohio Republican said Tuesday’s hearing was “just the first step in our legislative process” as the subcommittee examines “the full potential of self-driving cars and their ability to enhance safety, mobility and convenience for drivers.” The panel discussed state laws for driverless cars, the cybersecurity risks that come with autonomous vehicles and the life-saving potential of the technology.

The hearing came a day after Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) announced their goal of introducing bipartisan legislation on autonomous driving technology this year.

Anders Karrberg, vice president of government affairs at Volvo Car Group who testified at today’s hearing, told the subcommittee “the patchwork of state regulations is a concern” for the rollout of driverless cars in the United States.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s federal guidelines released in September doesn’t “effectively” prevent the patchwork of state laws on autonomous vehicles, Karrberg said.

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