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Lawmakers call for national self-driving car regulations

Louisiana has taken a proactive approach to the issue of autonomous vehicles, and the state's Department of Transportation and Development announced in May that it had entered into an agreement with the design and engineering firm Arcadis to provide technical assistance and gauge the level of impact that self-driving cars will have. However, many lawmakers in the nation's capital and several road safety advocacy groups feel that the issue should be addressed at the national level.

Groups like the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety Highway say that federal regulations would be more effective than a patchwork of state laws, and they worry that possibly unsafe autonomous technology could find its way onto roads if action is not taken soon. Lawmakers in both the House and the Senate are mulling measures that deal with self-driving cars, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee is considering placing limits on autonomous vehicle testing and requiring auto and technology companies to certify their self-driving systems before conducting field trials.

However, there are a number of obstacles that must be overcome before new self-driving car regulations can be implemented. President Trump and has vowed to slash regulations, and he has yet to appoint a head for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In the meantime, several manufacturers are vying to bring the first fully autonomous vehicle to market.

Autonomous vehicles have the potential to save thousands of lives each year by eliminating car accidents caused by negligent drivers. In the meantime, when reckless motorists cause harm, experienced personal injury attorneys may seek to hold them accountable by filing lawsuits on behalf of injured victims.

Source: Engineering News-Record, Louisiana Begins Planning on Impacts of Connected, Autonomous Vehicles, Louise Poirier, May 23, 2017

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