US House Passes SELF DRIVE Act
September 20, 2017

Dan Ronan
ITS America

The House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 3388, Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research in Vehicle Evolution Act or the SELF DRIVE Act.

The House Energy & Commerce Committee stated: "H.R. 3388 is first-of-its-kind legislation to ensure the safe and innovative development, testing, and deployment of self-driving cars. While self-driving technology is currently being developed and tested across the country, from Silicon Valley to Detroit, federal motor vehicle safety standards need to be updated to reflect cars without traditional design features."

“Self-driving cars hold the promise of making America’s roads safer, creating new economic opportunities, and helping seniors and those with disabilities live more independently. The SELF DRIVE Act strikes the critical balance of enhancing consumer safety while promoting the continued development of this cutting-edge technology,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, Republican from Oregon, and Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee Chairman Bob Latta, Republican from Ohio. “This bipartisan bill paves the way for advanced collision avoidance systems and self-driving cars nationwide, and ensures that America stays a global leader in innovation.”

Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr., Democrat from New Jersey, added: "This legislation also includes important provisions that ensure that safety is the top priority as self-driving cars are developed. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be required to issue rules and new safety standards for highly automated vehicles. The auto industry will be required to submit Safety Assessment Certifications that detail how their vehicles are tested and function on the road. We also insist that any manufacturer entering this market must have cybersecurity and privacy practices in place before their cars are sold."

"Self-driving cars will not come all at once," Pallone continued. "Human drivers will be on the roads for the foreseeable future. So this bill also contains legislative initiatives geared toward protecting drivers and passengers, including requirements to ensure kids are not forgotten in hot cars and that all new cars have the latest technology in their headlamps."

ITS America recognizes the House of Representatives groundbreaking vote on the bipartisan SELF DRIVE Act — the first significant federal legislation on the development, testing, and deployment of highly automated vehicles.

For more than 20 years, ITS America has been at the forefront of this effort, working with states, cities, vehicle manufacturers, technology companies, academic and research institutions, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“The House vote marks an important first step in creating the framework for the safe introduction of highly autonomous vehicles into our nation’s transportation system. ITS America is confident that highly automated vehicles will help solve many of our nation’s most critical transportation challenges while saving thousands of lives annually, improving mobility, providing greater accessibility, increasing sustainability, and strengthening our economy,” said David St. Amant, ITS America’s Interim President and CEO.

As the bill moves to the Senate, ITS America will continue our work for legislation that maintains the existing roles and balance of responsibilities between states, local governments, and the federal government and expands the number and duration of exemptions for highly automated vehicle systems understanding that real-world data can be generated to inform the safe deployment of self-driving vehicles.

Dan Ronan is VP, Strategic Communications, ITS America