Congress Could Make Self-Driving Cars Happen—or Ruin Everything

If Congress lacks the desire to study the issue carefully and tackle it with a comprehensive law, it can go at things piecemeal and still nudge automation along. It could start by revising the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to reflect autonomous technology. For example, the rules require things like foot-activated brakes. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration can amend the regulations, but it requires several rounds of draft rules and public comments. That takes years. Congress can make the same change quickly with a law, or even a clause tucked into, say, an infrastructure omnibus.