This morning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced they are streamlining the permit approval process for automated vehicles (AV). To put this new ruling in context, the U.S. Senate re-opened negotiations on the AV START Act, a bill that could become the first federal legislation governing AVs. With self-driving cars already on the road around the world, including in 24 U.S. cities, Congress is long overdue in taking action.
But even after today’s ruling, and even if AV START passes, it will not likely be enough to ensure that AV technology benefits public safety, the environment, and the well-being of our communities—including privacy and cybersecurity protections. It will take strategic policies across all levels of government to achieve our vision of a shared, electric, and automated future.