Bill on Self-Driving Cars Stalls in Senate

Congressional efforts to make it easier to develop self-driving cars in the U.S. have stalled in the Senate despite strong bipartisan support.

Bills that would liberalize and nationalize rules—by exempting robotic vehicles from certain federal standards designed for cars piloted by human drivers, for example—breezed through House and Senate committees last summer, Automotive News notes.

But now the Senate is swamped with other priorities, making it unclear when the Senate will vote on the measure. Efforts to avoid the need for a floor vote by approving the bill unanimously have been blocked by five Democrats, AN says. They fret that autonomous vehicles aren’t yet safe enough to be unleashed on public roads.

Proponents say Congressional inaction risks putting the U.S. behind in the fast-moving global race to develop and launch advanced self-driving systems.