More than 100 stakeholders press Senate for action on driverless car bill

More than 100 stakeholders press Senate for action on driverless car bill
© Getty Images

More than 100 companies on Monday pressed the Senate to pass its driverless car legislation before Memorial Day, as the bill remains stalled in the upper chamber.

The group of stakeholders, in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFormer Bush assistant: Mueller report makes Obama look 'just plain bad' 20 years after Columbine, Dems bullish on gun reform Dem says marijuana banking bill will get House vote this spring MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars Dem legal analyst says media 'overplayed' hand in Mueller coverage Former FBI official praises Barr for 'professional' press conference MORE (D-N.Y.), urged the lawmakers to expedite the American Vision for Safer Transportation Through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act.

ADVERTISEMENT

“While there are a number of compelling reasons to expedite Senate floor consideration of the AV START Act, the most important factor is the potential lives that could be saved,” the letter reads.

Companies that signed the letter include various automobile manufacturers, such as Volkswagen Group of America, Tesla, Toyota, Nissan North America, General Motors and Ford Motor Company. The ride-share applications Lyft and Via are also signatories.

“[W]e believe this legislation will garner overwhelming bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate. With your help, the Senate and House legislative proposals can be reconciled to enable a final bill to be presented to the President for his signature later this year,” the companies write.

The legislation, which would speed up the development and testing of autonomous vehicles, unanimously passed through the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee last year, but has since been stuck in the Senate. The House last year passed a companion bill. 

The letter calls on McConnell and Schumer to work with Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneTelehealth is calling — will Congress pick up? GOP grows tired of being blindsided by Trump Hillicon Valley: Assange faces US charges after arrest | Trump says WikiLeaks 'not my thing' | Uber officially files to go public | Bezos challenges retail rivals on wages | Kremlin tightens its control over internet MORE (R-S.D.), ranking member Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonTrump administration renews interest in Florida offshore drilling: report Dem reps say they were denied access to immigrant detention center Ex-House Intel chair: Intel panel is wrong forum to investigate Trump's finances MORE (D-Fla.) and Sen. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersCongress opens door to fraught immigration talks GOP campaign group goes after Senate Dems over 'Medicare for all' Bipartisan senators offer bill to expand electric vehicle tax credit MORE (D-Mich.) to move the legislation for a floor vote. 

Thune in January touted the bill at the Washington Auto Show, but acknowledged lawmakers still had differences to work through. 

“We have a couple of objections that we have to try to and deal with, but over the last year we have worked with 200 stakeholders who are affected by [autonomous vehicles],” Thune said at the time.