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U.S. Senate Committee Releases Autonomous Vehicle Bill

Oct 24, 2017

The Senate Commerce Committee recently released bill S1885 (the “AV Start Act”) that addresses autonomous vehicles and includes clear language to ensure that state vehicle license and franchise laws as applied are NOT preempted.

Manufacturers had been urging the bill’s sponsors to include broadly-worded language that would have potentially pre-empted state vehicle license and franchise laws.

Dealers and automotive trade associations from across the country, including NJ CAR, contacted their Senators who sat on the Commerce Committee and explained the negative impact of a broadly worded federal preemption. Those efforts held off a potentially serious threat to state franchise laws and led to bill language that ensures these laws are not weakened.

The language in S.1885 is identical to the House of Representative’s SELF DRIVE Act (H.R. 3388) which was unanimously passed a few weeks ago. A Senate floor vote has not yet been scheduled, but it is expected the legislation will be voted on before the end of the year.