When Robot Cars Arrive, Lawmakers and Regulators Should Steer Clear

WASHINGTON, April 23 –   Today the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) released a new report by transportation policy expert Marc Scribner to help policymakers address regulating driverless vehicles without stifling progress and innovation. The report, titled “Self-Driving Regulation,” takes a look at the history of the technology, and is one of the first comprehensive analyses of autonomous vehicle regulation.

“The arrival of autonomous vehicles to the marketplace could mean big benefits for consumers in terms of auto safety, greater mobility for the disabled and elderly, and environmental benefits in the form of reduced emissions,” said CEI fellow Marc Scribner. “But regulator and lawmaker missteps could negatively impact the development of the technology, compromising design innovation and raising cost. Instead, lawmakers and regulators should adopt a liberalized approach toward innovation and a cautious stance on legislation and regulation, particularly at this early stage.”

With companies such as Google, General Motors and Volvo now working on developing versions of a driverless vehicle, this new technology could be available to consumers as early as 2020.

“Although, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently working on developing a safety regulatory framework for this technology, states are responsible for passing driving laws. So far, four states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws that explicitly recognize the legality of such vehicles, while several others are considering legislation,” said Scribner. “For those working on legislation, this report gives both federal and state policymakers recommendations on how to contend with legality, safety, infrastructure, products liability, and transportation services.”

> Read the report: Self-Driving Regulation: Pro-Market Policies Key to Automated Vehicle Innovation

> Watch: Marc Scribner discussing automated vehicles on Fox Business, “The Independents”

> Related: Driverless Cars, Innovation, and Regulation: Let’s Not Mess it Up