Action on driverless cars hits speed bump as Congress focuses on pandemic

Progress on federal legislation to regulate self-driving cars has hit a speed bump during the COVID-19 pandemic as Congress shifts its focus to other issues.

For companies that continue to move forward with plans to build and test autonomous vehicles, the lack of federal action opens the door to complicated state-by-state regulations and raises the prospect that the United States will lose the international race to launch self-driving cars.

It’s a particularly inconvenient situation during a crisis that is sparking demand for human-free transportation and delivery, as autonomous vehicles are slowly starting to be used for activities such as food delivery and medical supply shipments.