Reports suggest that members of Congress are preparing to introduce a new autonomous vehicle safety regulation bill that primarily focuses on requiring manufacturers to submit self-conducted safety assessments and mandating the Department of Transportation to create and maintain a comprehensive safety framework for autonomous vehicles.
This action would mark the seventh consecutive year in which federal autonomous vehicle legislation would be introduced in Congress after the last six failed to reach the president's desk.
This bill is considered to be significant as different players in the autonomous vehicle industry are attempting to create their safety frameworks. In particular, Waymo published a paper in March that presents a blueprint for a safety case for its autonomous vehicles and is inviting industry competitors and regulators to join the effort in this initiative. Aurora, a Pittsburgh-based AV company, presented a similar safety framework in 2021 that addresses the safety of both autonomous trucks and passenger vehicles. The attempts suggest that the AV value chain is searching for a safety framework that addresses key issues such as liability, cybersecurity, safety, ethics and consumer trust. Several federal agencies have made recent efforts to enhance the regulation of the autonomous vehicle industry.