WASHINGTON, DC – The Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), today approved seven committee bills including H.R. 3388, Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research in Vehicle Evolution Act or the “SELF DRIVE Act.” Passing with unanimous bipartisan support at 54-0, this legislation will prioritize consumer safety, reduce traffic-related fatalities, and clarify federal and state roles around emerging automated vehicle technologies.
With traffic fatalities on the rise, E&C members recognize the life-saving potential of self-driving cars and the opportunity it presents to prevent thousands of crash-related deaths. To date, the subcommittee has held three hearings pertaining to the topic of self-driving bills including the potential of this technology and timeframe for deployment, the benefits of driver assistance systems, and discussion drafts of 14 self-driving bills that outlined member priorities incorporated into today’s final legislation.
H.R. 3388, the SELF DRIVE Act, passed the committee by a vote of 54-0 and will;
- advances safety by prioritizing the protection of consumers,
- re-affirms the roles and responsibilities of federal and state governments,
- updates the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) to account for advances in technology and evolution of highly automated vehicles (HAVs), and
- maximizes opportunities for research and development here in the U.S. to create jobs and grow economic opportunities so that that the U.S can remain a global leader in this industry.
Speaking to the bipartisan nature of today’s legislation, Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee Chairman Bob Latta said, “The Subcommittee has had over 250 meetings this year alone, with the autos, the disability community, seniors, tech companies, trade associations, suppliers, State transportation leaders, and last but not least NHTSA...Safety should be, and will always be, our number one priority. I truly believe this bill will make a real difference for everyday Americans.”
“I truly believe the bipartisan bill-drafting process for self-driving legislation is an example of our committee at its best – working together to pursue the common goal of saving lives,” said Full Committee Chairman Walden. “Our aim was to develop a regulatory structure that allows for industry to safely innovate with significant government oversight – as safety must be the chief priority. And I believe today’s legislation strikes that critical balance.”
For a list of all seven bills considered today, click HERE.
Electronic copies of the legislation and a background memo can be found at the Energy and Commerce Committee’s website here. Amendment text and votes will be available at the same link as they are posted.