Opinion: Today Congress has the opportunity to take a giant step forward in improving road safety

Right now, Congress has the opportunity to pass legislation that allows for the safe deployment of AVs while fostering continued safety innovations that maintain U.S. leadership in this important field. Pending federal legislation would advance these vital safety technologies through three primary provisions:

First, by directing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue new and revised safety regulations governing AVs on an expedited basis. Revised regulations could remove roadblocks to deployment of AVs that do not have equipment needed only by human drivers—such as a steering wheel or brake pedal. New regulations could also provide safety standards for new equipment introduced by AVs.

Second, by allowing AV manufacturers to seek permission to deploy limited numbers of self-driving vehicles that meet the safety purpose of federal standards through different means.