US Senate Commerce Committee approves self-driving vehicles act

The US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has approved the AV START Act – aimed at improving road safety through the deployment of self-driving vehicles.

"The safety and economic benefits of self-driving vehicles are too critical to delay"

The committee passage of the legislation – officially S. 1885, The American Vision for Safer Transportation through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies Act – included an amendment by Senator Bill Nelson with new language to establish a balance between federal and state laws affecting self-driving vehicles.

“Today’s vote underscores the bipartisan desire to move ahead with self-driving vehicle technology,” said Senator John Thune, the chairman of the committee and lead Republican sponsor of the AV START Act.

“Sen. Peters and the members of the Commerce Committee deserve credit for working together to move this bill forward toward Senate floor consideration and collaboration with our colleagues in the House of Representatives. The safety and economic benefits of self-driving vehicles are too critical to delay.”

Senator Gary Peters, the lead Democrat sponsor of the bill, said: “Self-driving vehicles will make transformative changes to improve mobility, reduce accidents and enhance safety for millions of travelers on our roads.

“I appreciate the hard work of Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson to craft this important legislation that will help advance these lifesaving and life-changing self-driving technologies and ensure that the United States remains at the forefront of vehicle innovation.”

The House of Representatives unanimously passed the SELF DRIVE Act last month.