Congress Races to Pass a Self-Driving Car Law By Year's End


On Wednesday, Waymo officially launched its self-driving taxi service in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona. Sure, the cars still have humans behind the wheel and they're only open to a subset of the few hundred people already enrolled in the company's exclusive beta tester program, but it's a reminder that driverless cars are coming (if more slowly than many had hoped and hyped). So it's high time that these new robo-things get firmer rules, regulators, consumer advocates, and even the self-driving industry itself has reasoned. To that end, this week, senators began to circulate new language for the AV Start Act, a bill that has lingered in congressional limbo for almost a year. In this new draft language, the bill would create a loose framework for the testing and deployment of automated vehicles, as a bill passed by the House of Representatives did last fall.