Driverless-car makers want Congress to free them from state safety standards

by Eliza Fawcett, Los Angeles Times

As Silicon Valley and automakers attempt to steer the nation toward a future of driverless vehicles, a group of influential lawmakers remains concerned that bipartisan legislation now moving through Congress could leave consumers at risk by preventing states from demanding tighter safety regulations.

The House passed a bill last fall and similar legislation is pending in the Senate. Both aim to boost the driverless car industry by streamlining rules and preventing states from imposing their own safety and performance standards.

But consumer advocates and a group of lawmakers including Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) are worried that the current proposals don’t go far enough to protect consumers from accidents and other dangers.

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