US Sen. Thune To Renew Push for Autonomous Vehicle Legislation

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., former chairman and current member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, said today at an event organized by Axios that he is working with Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., on an effort to reintroduce legislation in the Senate that would allow manufacturers to sell tens of thousands of autonomous vehicles each year in the U.S.

The bill introduced in the prior Congress–called the AV START Act–was approved by the committee but progressed no further in the Senate.

Speaking about the legislation today, Sen. Thune said, “We want to get that restarted – no pun intended.” He added, “I hope we can close the deal” in the current Congress.

Earlier this month, Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, a House Energy and Commerce Committee member, said he is aiming in the new Congress to take another crack at the Self Drive Act, a bill that passed the House in 2017 but languished in the Senate. The bill would pre-empt states from implementing certain laws governing autonomous driving technology, and allow car makers to deploy up to 100,000 self-driving cars per year.