In the face of rumors that the AV START Act will be attached to the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act, NSPE has signed onto a letter by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety opposing attaching the AV START Act to an unrelated bill.
The AV START Act, in its current form, exempts potentially millions of self-driving vehicles from meeting existing safety regulations. The measure passed committee in November 2017; with limited time on the Senate calendar in 2018, legislators are pushing quickly to establish federal autonomous vehicle standards.
In the letter, NSPE and several consumer, public health, and safety groups urge lawmakers to not create “artificial urgency” to pass legislation without adding sufficient safeguards. As the letter states, “The AV START Act will likely set policy on driverless cars for decades to come. As such, comprehensive safeguards, sufficient government oversight, and industry accountability are essential. The bill, in its current form, fails to provide these minimal safety protections.”