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House Passes Law to Accelerate Adoption of Self-Driving Technology

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Ars Technica discusses the House's passage of the SELF DRIVE Act with Marc Scribner.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved legislation designed to streamline rules governing self-driving cars. The legislation passed unanimously in a voice vote.

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The new system is not a total free-for-all, however. To get an exemption, carmakers and technology companies will have to submit detailed analysis demonstrating that the experimental vehicle provides "an overall safety level at least equal to the overall safety level of nonexempt vehicles."

Marc Scribner, an analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank, supports this general approach, but he argues that Congress is being too conservative here. In practice, he says, these higher caps are unlikely to take effect for another two to three years. And they'll initially rise to only 25,000—it takes an additional two years to reach 100,000.

All of which means that we could be well into the 2020s before carmakers can begin taking advantage of these new, higher caps. Given the rapid pace of progress in this area, there's a risk that manufacturers will be hampered by this relatively slow timetable.

Read the full article at Ars Technica.