By Ali Breland – The Hill
Two key senators announced late Wednesday that they have reached a bipartisan agreement that removes some regulations making it harder to get self-driving cars on roads.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) said that legislation will be considered at a committee markup on Oct. 4.
“While this Senate self-driving vehicle legislation still has room for further changes, it is a product of bipartisan cooperation we both stand behind,” Thune and Peters said in a joint statement.
They are set to introduce and release text of the legislation on Thursday.
“Ultimately, we expect adoption of self-driving vehicle technologies will save lives, improve mobility for people with disabilities, and create new jobs,” the two said.
The House passed similar legislation easing restrictions on self-driving cars earlier in September. In the House’s version of the bill, automakers would be allowed to sell up to 25,000 vehicles in the first year they are offered. By year three, they would be able to sell as many as 100,000 if they are deemed to be as safe as cars driven by humans.
In the House version, automakers would still have to submit safety reports to regulators but would not be required to get premarket approval for the vehicles.
Industry has been pressing federal lawmakers to take up the issue so that they can avoid dealing with a patchwork of state regulations and laws restricting autonomous vehicles.