Policy > Issues

Self-Driving Vehicles

Self-driving vehicles have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives a year in the U.S. A strong public policy approach ideally will promote openness and innovation and be technology-neutral and inclusive. Policymakers need to prioritize the policy initiatives that will have the greatest impact in advancing self-driving technology and speed up what has been a very slow and arduous process if we are not to fall behind other countries.

Clear delineation of federal, state and local roles and responsibilities will provide clarity for the emerging market and updated Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) will allow new approaches to safety and design to emerge. Temporary exemptions from outdated FMVSS can provide an intermediate respite on a short-term basis until a longer-term solution is adopted; these exemptions must not be extended to the point that the process becomes de-facto pre-market approval. Thoughtful public policy and clear and consistent regulations will allow this technology to move from concept to reality.

Policy Priorities:

  • No patchwork of conflicting laws across the nation. NHTSA is the sole regulatory authority over vehicle performance standards. State and local governments must not be allowed to advance ‘mission-creep’ policies that conflict with federal standards.

  • Increase the number of exemptions for FMVSS and broaden eligibility.

  • Update FMVSS that conflict with the concept of a self-driving vehicle.

  • Be technology neutral.

  • Open roads for testing.

Recent CTA Statements on Self-Driving Vehicles:

CTA Says, New DOT Guidelines Move U.S. Forward on Self-Driving Vehicles
CTA Statement on AV START Act
House Passage of SELF DRIVE Act Will Help Unlock Full Potential of Self-Driving Cars
Addressing Self-Driving Technologies is Critical to American Safety, Innovation, Says CTA​


Recent CTA Op-eds on Self-Driving Vehicles:

We Can’t Delay a Federal Policy on Self-Driving Cars​
Self-driving car casualties are tragic. But we shouldn't stop improving the technology.