Senior Mobility, Independence Highlighted in House’s “Self Drive Act” Passed Last Week
Last Wednesday, the US House of Representatives passed a bipartisan piece of legislation aimed at regulating—and the hope is expediting—the development of self-driving vehicles. Among the benefits explicitly spelled out in the legislation is the potential of self-driving vehicles to increase the ability of seniors and those with disabilities to live at home longer and with more independence.
The “Self Drive Act” was unanimously approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee in July, before Congress left for August recess, and passed the full House on a voice vote.
“Self-driving cars hold the promise of making America’s roads safer, creating new economic opportunities, and helping seniors and those with disabilities live more independently,” Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) said in a joint statement. “This bipartisan bill paves the way for advanced collision avoidance systems and self-driving cars nationwide, and ensures that America stays a global leader in innovation.”
One of the bill’s main functions is to eliminate conflicting state laws, allowing manufacturers to reach production levels much more quickly.
The technology is still a long way from a mass rollout, but lawmakers believe that the bill could help expedite the industry’s development by clearing out a patchwork of differing state laws throughout the country.
The Senate is also expected to put out its own version of a self-driving car bill soon.