A bill to standardize self-driving across all states and exempt tens of thousands of cars every year from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rules has unanimously passed a House panel vote, paving the way for a full House vote in after the August recess.

The full House Energy and Commerce Committee may vote on it as soon as next week, according to Bloomberg, and there’s a high chance it will make its way through the full House vote.

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It received bipartisan support after Democratic proposals were accepted, including a directive for the NHTSA to write the rules for self-driving cars in 18 months. Automakers also need to show that the autonomous technology is fit for public roads.

“Today’s markup represents the most significant step this subcommittee has taken to date to ultimately enact comprehensive legislation on self-driving technologies and services,” said Bob Latta, the Ohio Republican who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection panel. “Our work is not done and we will continue to perfect language as we prepare to move quickly to full-committee markup.”

The legislation would ban all states from regulating self-driving cars, software, and services. Google, Tesla, and other stakeholders want to see the legislation pass, as some states have been slower to legalize parts of self-driving, while others have asked for a lot of private data in return for access to public roads.

David Curry

David Curry