by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
For auto manufacturers, technology experts, and lawmakers, 2018 is shaping up to be the year that paves the way for deployment of self-driving vehicles.
Last year, the House overwhelmingly passed a bill that provides the federal government with a framework for developing new rules for driverless cars, marking the first step to allowing more self-driving vehicles on public roads.
The Senate Commerce Committee followed suit with its own bill. Now, experts are confident the full Senate will act on the legislation to address self-driving vehicles, eventually sending a bill to President Trump’s desk.
“In 2018, Congress is going to pass legislation, and the president will sign it,” Marc Scribner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, predicted. “The SELF DRIVE Act proved uncontroversial in the House, and that is more or less what I expect the Senate will do.” …
… The AV START Act passed the Senate Commerce Committee in October, and self-driving vehicle legislation is a top priority for the committee this year.
Both bills give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the authority to regulate the design, construction, and performance of self-driving cars.
State and local governments, meanwhile, will regulate registration, licensing, insurance, and safety and emissions inspections.