The AV START Act Raises Safety Concerns
"A group of senators led by South Dakota Republican John Thune wants to let companies rush self-driving cars to market before any federal safety standards related to autonomous systems have been drafted," according to an article by Angie Schmitt.
Already a coalition of safety advocates has sounded the alarm about the measure:
A coalition of 65 consumer advocacy and street safety organizations has warned against the bill known as AV START, which would preempt state and local safety regulations of self-driving cars without spelling out any federal safety rules (although it would allow U.S. DOT to draft some). In addition, the bill would exempt AVs from many safety standards that apply to all other cars. Each manufacturer would get an allotment of 100,000 vehicles to sell for use on public streets within three years.
Schmitt also notes that Sen. Thune, who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, represents one of the most rural, least populated states in the nation—but this bill would have much more obvious consequences in places where cars congregate in much larger numbers.
Additional coverage of the coalition of safety groups opposing the bill is available in an article by Pete Bigelow.