The House passed a bipartisan driverless car bill Wednesday, paving the way for Tesla and other manufacturers to develop autonomous vehicles without having to hurdle substantial legislative barriers.
The bill opens the playing field for companies to develop and test new driverless technology without having to answer to individual state legislators. In addition to relaxing laws on the implementation of the technology, the bill also grants car manufacturers with the ability to deploy up to 100,000 self-driving vehicles per year that don’t meet standard safety regulations. The first year will be capped at 25,000 autonomous cars.
For Tesla, relaxed regulation means it has more freedom to test and develop driverless technology.
States will still be responsible for things like vehicle registration, insurance and driver education. Lawmakers say the bill is crucial in allowing for a potentially safer driving experience.
“Self-driving cars have the potential in the future to reduce deaths and injuries from car crashes, particularly those that result from driver distraction,” Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), said on the House floor according to The Hill. “This bill allows for testing and deployment of self-driving cars to help the United States reach that potential sooner.”
As CEO Elon Musk and Tesla’s Autopilot Vision team forge ahead with AI development, reports have surfaced that the company could be close to its first cross-country autonomous trip.
In early May, Musk boldly said that the journey could occur within the next few months.
(In) “November or December of this year, we should be able to go all the way from a parking lot in California to a parking lot in New York with no controls touched in the entire journey,” Musk said.
This kind of trip would be a major accomplishment for both Tesla and autonomous vehicle technology as a whole. With new, relaxed legislation, Tesla fans everywhere are hoping Tesla will be able to complete the journey from Lost Angeles to New York on or ahead of schedule.