Law & Order

U.S. House of Representatives Approves Autonomous Vehicle Legislation

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill to provide federal oversight for highly automated vehicles (HAVs). The legislation directs the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to complete research on the most cost-effective methods for informing consumers about the capabilities and limitations for self-driving vehicles, and make such terminology consistent with industry standards, such as the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International Recommended Practice Report J3016. The legislation is intended to create a national approach, rather than a patchwork of state rules governing the safety of HAVs as it relates to design, performance, testing and deployment of such vehicles.

In a separate action, the DOT announced that it will pursue voluntary guidelines for HAVs, rather than enforceable rules to provide a flexible approach while driverless technology evolves. The DOT would still retain authority to recall any HAVs found to be unsafe. The automakers are incorporating sensors, software and other mechanisms to facilitate vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. 

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