Capitol Correspondence - 03.05.18

ANCOR Signs onto Letter Urging Passage of Driverless Cars Legislation

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As part of its work with the Coalition for Future Mobility, which seeks to advance driverless automobiles, ANCOR signed onto a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). The letter asks the Senators to bring the AV START Act to the Senate floor for a vote, so that it can be reconciled with the version passed by the House at the end of 2017. Once the Senate votes on the bill it can go to the President to become law.

As written in the letter: “Both the Senate and House bills strengthen existing safety oversight by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and complement the iterative work of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) with respect to their highly automated vehicle policy guidance.  Many of the concepts originally included in the Department’s highly automated vehicle guidance are also to be found in the AV START and SELF DRIVE Acts, including technology neutrality between automakers and technology companies.  In addition, the pending Congressional legislation helps to provide a clear delineation of federal and state roles with respect to highly automated vehicles—a critical aspect that will protect against a patchwork of regulations that could stifle U.S. innovation, job growth, and the development of safety technologies which will reduce the number of lives lost on our roadways.” Click here to read the full letter.

ANCOR has been participating in this coalition because of the potential self-driving vehicles has for making the lives of people with disabilities easier, and increasing their integration into mainstream society.

To that effect, while this is not related to the AV START Act, ANCOR was interested to learn that the state of California has authorized the testing of driverless cars without backup human drivers on state roads. Previously, the state had authorized the testing of driverless cars with human drivers as a back-up. Companies can now apply and the first permits could be authorized as soon as April 2, 2018. Click here to read an article by the San Francisco Chronicle on this development.