AVs are coming. Will they hurt the climate?

E&E News quotes Senior Fellow Marc Scribner on the prospects of federal automated vehicle legislation.

So far, Congress has fallen short of agreeing on how the federal government should encourage self-driving technology, but it may not be far from the finish line.

Its main attempt, the “Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research in Vehicle Evolution (SELF DRIVE) Act,” would have expanded exemptions from certain safety rules for AV pilots, created an advisory council for highly automated vehicles and required transportation authorities to update standards. The bill passed the House of Representative, then stalled in the Senate last year after some Democrats balked at what they called insufficient attention to road and passenger safety.

That occurred in the wake of the fatal accident in Arizona, where a self-driving Uber pilot killed a 49-year-old pedestrian.

Still, few legislators have mounted wholesale objections to the introduction of Level 4 and Level 5 driverless cars.

“There’s a lot of unity across the political spectrum supporting the development of AVs,” said Marc Scribner, a senior fellow at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute who focuses on transportation issues.

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