US Senate committee approves AV START Act

Following the USPS OIG report on autonomous vehicles being published on Monday, the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation approved the AV START Act bill on Thursday this week. The bill focuses on “efforts to improve roadway safety through the deployment of self-driving vehicles”.

The full AV START Act bill is called “S. 1885, The American Vision for Safer Transportation through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies”. It now includes new wording to establish a balance between federal and state laws affecting self-driving vehicles.

In a statement issued by the Transportation Committee, Senator John Thune, the chairman of the committee and lead Republican sponsor of The AV START Act, said: “Today’s vote underscores the bipartisan desire to move ahead with self-driving vehicle technology.

“The safety and economic benefits of self-driving vehicles are too critical to delay.”

Senator Gary Peters, the lead Democrat sponsor of the bill, added: “Self-driving vehicles will make transformative changes to improve mobility, reduce accidents and enhance safety for millions of travelers on our roads.”

Regulation is only one part of a whole realm of thinking and planning that needs to be done by regulators, software providers and car manufacturers before the ecosystem of autonomous vehicles comes to full bloom. The AV START Act will lay the basic framework on which the ecosystem can begin to form, and for individual businesses to begin their own ideation as to how autonomous cars and delivery vehicles will operate on the roads in future. Needless to say this is a gigantic change to the way we will live and work.  
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