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House Passes SELF-DRIVE Act

The future of driverless cars is not too far away, as the House of Representatives just passed a bill that would set standards for self-driving automobiles. Called the ‘‘Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research in Vehicle Evolution Act’’ (SELF-DRIVE Act), this bill –H.R. 3388.

The car accident lawyers at Champion Law Group note that the new bill “would allow auto manufacturers and technology companies to start testing more autonomous vehicles.”   Manufacturers would also be able to bypass state design standards. Because current vehicles are designed for human drivers, they have brakes, accelerators, steering wheels and other parts that autonomous vehicles do not need.

Since autonomous vehicles would not have to abide by state laws, this bill provides them with a level playing field across the entire United States. This is good news for the many companies that are looking to test autonomous vehicles, such as Tesla, General Motors, Ford, Waymo, Badu and Uber.

Note that the bill has not become law yet. It still needs to be approved in the Senate in order to take effect.The Senate, however, is looking to create its own bill for self-driving cars. Both bills would have to be reconciled before they can be signed into law. In any case, it is expected that self-driving cars will not be available to consumers before 2020.

Advantages of Self-Driving Cars

The industry group Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets claims that streets will be safer once self-driving cars are widely adopted. This innovation will also increase mobility for underserved areas, decrease commute times and make it easier for people and goods to travel from Point A to Point B.

Could we see Self-Driving Trucks in the Future?

Yes. Daimler, the company that owns Mercedes-Benz, is testing a self-driving truck. In fact, one is already operating on roadways in Nevada. It is anticipated that self-driving trucks will come to market by 2025.

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