After failing to pass legislation in 2018, the U.S. Congress will try its hand once again at a self-driving car bill.
Reuters reported Tuesday that the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Senate Commerce Committee have notified relevant groups that they request input for new legislation. Automakers and safety groups are among the areas each committee requested input from. The hope this time is to create a bi-partisan piece of legislation across both chambers of congress.
Last year, the Republican-controlled House passed a bill, though a similar bill in the Senate failed to pass due to Democrat concerns over self-driving car safety. Although chambers made amendments, last year’s lame-duck Congress punted the topic to 2019 as Democrats took control of the House and Republicans grew their majority in the Senate.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers already praised Congress’ announcement. The alliance covers numerous large automakers, including General Motors.
“Right now various countries are exploring regulations that will shape the future of autonomous vehicles, and the U.S. risks losing its leadership in this life-saving, life-changing technology, so we urge Congress to move forward now, this year,” the alliance said in a statement.
The letter sent to various groups asked for input for the new bill by August 23. The hope is to reach a compromise and pass legislation this year.
The previous bills included abilities for automakers to win exemptions for self-driving cars without typical human controls and directed federal regulators to collect crash data from Level 2 autonomous driving systems. Those include Cadillac’s Super Cruise system and Tesla’s Autopilot. On the former topic, GM has petitioned the NHTSA to make an exception to current regulations and allow its Cruise self-driving cars to operate without a steering wheel or pedals. A decision is supposedly coming soon.