Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Gary Peters (D-MI) recently announced that they are exploring federal regulations to be proposed this year for self-driving vehicles. These lawmakers’ stated goal was to offer flexibility for manufacturers of autonomous vehicles without impacting safety regulations on conventional cars.

Congress has conducted hearings on regulating autonomous vehicles but, as yet, has no federal laws have been introduced. The announcement by Thune and Peters on their joint efforts may soon change that. Last year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released voluntary guidelines that could form the basis for federal regulations.

Concerns to be addressed include safety issues, prototype testing  as well as whether federal laws and regulations would prevail over pending and future state regulations.

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