The Senate just missed an important deadline to pass the AV START Act, making it more likely that any effort to regulate Automated Vehicles (AVs) will need to start over in the next Congress. While there is a need for a national regulatory framework for AVs, the actual AV START bill currently in the Senate does not meet the safety standards suggested in APBP’s Policy Statement on Automated Vehicles.
The Senate champions for this bill want to get it passed this year. If they succeed, there will be very little chance to amend it for more favorable standards. However, their best chance to get the bill passed was to attach it to one of the ‘must pass’ bills Congress passed at the end of the fiscal year, September 30. The Senate will only be in session seven more weeks this year, which means their time is running out.
APBP will continue communications with Senators regarding the safety standards in our AV policy statement. If the bill does not pass this calendar year, it will expire. If the next Congress takes up a new bill to create a regulatory framework for AVs, APBP welcomes the opportunity to take part in a robust stakeholder process.