Self-Driving Cars’ Prospects Rise With Vote by House

The New York Times discusses the House’s passage of the SELF DRIVE Act with Marc Scribner.

Lawmakers in the House took a major step on Wednesday toward advancing the development of driverless cars, approving legislation that would put the vehicles onto public roads more quickly and curb states from slowing their spread.

Under the bill, which was approved by a unanimous voice vote, carmakers can add hundreds of thousands of self-driving cars to America’s road in the next few years. States, which now have a patchwork of rules regulating the vehicles, would have to follow the new federal law.

In recent years, dozens of states have passed laws related to self-driving safety, some of which carmakers view as too heavy-handed. The companies have, for example, fought proposals in California, Michigan and New York that would require driverless cars to be electric-powered and to contain steering wheels and brake pedals.

“The reason why Congress is doing this is that there was a growing concern of a vacuum created because N.H.T.S.A. hadn’t acted and the states were acting in N.H.T.S.A.’s place,” said Marc Scribner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative-leaning research group in Washington.

Read the full article at The New York Times.