A U.S. Senate committee will vote Monday on sweeping legislation with bipartisan support aimed at accelerating the development and availability of self-driving vehicles.
This bill would essentially exempt auto manufacturers from certain state vehicle regulations, streamlining a process that currently sees tech developers struggling to work around each state’s individual laws. Because standards vary by state, achieving compliance for self-driving vehicle development and testing can be a long, complicated process.
The commercial trucking industry is not expected to be included in this particular bill as many Democrats and labor unions opposed its inclusion, according to Reuters.
A similar bill was passed unanimously by the U.S. House earlier this month.
U.S. Senators John Thune and Gary Peters said Wednesday that a deal had been reached and that the Senate Commerce Committee will vote on the legislation on October 4. Thune, a Republican, chairs the committee. Peters is a Democrat from Michigan—home to General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co., which have been lobbying for this legislation, along with Alphabet Inc., the parent company to Google which has invested heavily in autonomous-vehicle innovation in the past several years through its Waymo business unit.
More of this type of legislation is expected from the federal government to spur and incentivize advancement in self-driving technology.