On June 16, 2021, Reuters featured comments from the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets on the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee’s rejection of attempts to lift regulations to allow for the deployment of thousands of autonomous vehicles. Ariel Wolf, a partner in Venable’s Washington, DC office and leader of the firm’s Mobility and Transportation Technology team, serves as counsel to the Self-Driving Coalition.
According to the article, the committee rebuffed the bid by Senator John Thune to attach measures lifting regulations on autonomous vehicles to a $78 billion surface transportation bill after he sought last month to attach the measures in May to a bill on China tech policy. Thune has proposed granting the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the power to grant exemptions for tens of thousands of self-driving vehicles per manufacturer from safety standards written with human drivers in mind.
The Self-Driving Coalition said that "the exclusion of AV legislation from current surface transportation reauthorization bills reflects yet another missed opportunity to save lives," but it vowed to work with lawmakers.