Right or wrong, American politics are usually described as partisan at best – and downright nasty plenty of other times. However, it appears that at least one current hot-button issue is able to bridge the divide and bring members of the House of Representatives that normally reside on opposite sides of the aisle together in harmony for long enough to pass a bipartisan referendum.
If you're wondering what topic has the power to create a proposal that appeals to both Democrats and Republicans alike, the answer just happens to also be the most prominent point of discussion in the automotive world: Self-driving vehicles.
As the editorial team over at Fortune magazine reports, the subcommittee overseeing consumer protection within the United States (U.S.) House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a sweeping proposal that paves the way for automakers, tech titans, and all other players in the world of driverless vehicles to deploy up to 100,000 autonomous units without adhering to any current automotive safety standards and regulations. Additionally, the bill also prevents individual states from imposing specific rules related to the governance of self-driving cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles (SUVs).
Despite this substantial amount of leeway for growth and development, the organizations currently pushing toward market-ready driverless vehicles must still offer up proof that their automobiles are road-ready and not a hazard to other drivers. Specifically, the Fortune magazine report defines this requirement as the ability to prove that the vehicles can "function as intended and contain fail safe features" in order to receive the regulatory exemptions offered within this bill.
While the previous presidential administration already rolled out an expansive set of regulatory guidelines and a voluntary self-driving vehicle assessment policy, this is the first time that action has been taken on the matter by the legislative branch of the U.S. government. That being said, the bill must still pass through a vote from the full committee (set to happen next week) and then go before the entire House of Representatives when this congressional body reconvenes in September after its summer recess.
Want to learn more about the impact this bold new bill could have on both the automotive world and our everyday lives? Then go ahead and check out the link below for the complete story from the team over at Fortune magazine.