Big news! Next week, on June 27th, a Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a hearing to discuss “Self-Driving Vehicle Legislation.”

As reported by Wired, “last week, the Senate published bipartisan principles outlining what the legislation might look like. House Republicans, meanwhile, started circulating the drafts of a 14-bill package making it easier for federal regulators to make all the rules. Congress, it seems, wants to shred the patchwork of rules and regulations and blanket the nation in uniform guidelines…”

This is significant change! Over the past several years, in the absence of federal regulation, a number of states enacted their own legislation, ranging from the very liberal to the more restrictive. Now, it seems, the federal government would like to preempt state and local regulations in the interests of enabling regulatory consistency and timely deployment of this new technology. But, as we’ve learned from federal regulation of other new technologies – for example wireless communications facilities or cell towers – the need for consistency and timely deployment must also balance necessary safety-related concerns.

Stay tuned for more updates on these exciting regulatory advancements. For more information on the Wired article, click here.

For more information about the upcoming hearing and ongoing information, the hearing webcast is available here, and the Legislation is available here.