Advocates for traffic safety are warning about an effort in Congress to pre-empt local and state safety requirements for autonomous vehicles in favor of a federal standard that’s yet to be created.
At issue is the AV Start Act, which would ease federal regulations for the development of self-driving cars and allow their manufacturers to get them on the road more quickly. The measure, which a group in the Senate is trying to get attached to the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act, would also allow autonomous vehicles to be tested and potentially sold to customers before final federal safety regulations are completed.
“The AV START Act, in its current form, would shockingly allow potentially millions of vehicles on the market to be exempt from meeting existing safety standards,” the group of safety advocates said in a letter to members of the Senate, first reported on by Streetsblog USA.
Among the signers of the letter were the president of a group of major cities police chiefs, the American Public Health Association, the Brain Injury Association of America, the head of the interest group Public Citizen, and several bicycling organizations.