On Autonomous Vehicles, Don’t Let Feds Grab Power From The States

The House Energy and Commerce Committee tomorrow is voting on a bill to help automakers introduce autonomous vehicles (AVs) into the nation’s fleet of cars and trucks.
While the bill has broad bipartisan support, at issue are provisions in the bill that would pre-empt state laws – ostensibly to keep states from drawing up their own set of safety standards.
The goal of the bill is to avoid fifty safety standards for autonomous vehicles in fifty states – a noble goal. Automakers can’t create fifty different versions of their cars to adhere to fifty state standards.
However, the bill could also theoretically up-end state laws that govern motor vehicle operation, which has a number of groups concerned. Consumer groups are worried about whether the law would end state lemon laws. Insurance companies are focused on state insurance regulations. Local car dealerships are concerned about state motor vehicle franchise laws.

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