US House Energy and Commerce Committee Approves "Self-Drive Act"
August 03, 2017

Dan Ronan
ITS America

The Energy and Commerce Committee approved bill 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.

According to the Energy and Commerce Committee, the Self Drive Act will:

■ Advances safety by prioritizing the protection of consumers

■ Re-affirm the roles and responsibilities of federal and state governments

■ Update the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) to account for advances in technology and evolution of highly automated vehicles (HAVs)

■ Maximize opportunities for research and development here in the US to create jobs and grow economic opportunities so that that the US can remain a global leader in this industry

“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 Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR). “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.”

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America congratulates the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for its bipartisan, unanimous approval of the “Self-Drive Act.” The legislation will help create the framework for the safe testing and deployment of HAVs.

For almost 20 years, ITS America has been at the forefront of this effort, working with states, cities, metropolitan planning organizations, vehicle manufacturers, technology companies, and academic institutions.

“The Committee’s vote marks an important step forward in creating the framework to ensure the safe introduction of HAVs on our nation’s roads. ITS America is confident that HAVs will help solve many of our most critical transportation challenges while saving thousands of lives annually, providing greater accessibility, increasing sustainability, and strengthening our economy,” said David St. Amant, ITS America’s interim President and CEO.

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee is expected to soon introduce its own legislation addressing self-driving vehicles.

Dan Ronan is VP, Strategic Communications, ITS America