House Passes Self-Driving Car Bill, IoT Component Manufacturers Expect Booming Business

Components of the Internet of Things will be an important part of the safety, cybersecurity and privacy aspects of the SELF-DRIVE Act and related legislation.
By Ronald E. Quirk

Violations of the bill's privacy requirements will be treated as unfair or deceptive acts or practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act. As such, the Federal Trade Commission will enforce the bill's privacy provisions.

Consumer Information Notice Requirements
The bill tasks the SoT with conducting a study on the most effective means of informing consumers of the capabilities and limitations of self-driving cars. After the study is completed, the SoT will initiate a rulemaking proceeding to require manufacturers to inform consumers about the capabilities and limitations of their cars.

Industry Council
Within six month of enactment, the SELF-DRIVE Act requires the SoT to establish within the NHTSA a Highly Automated Vehicle Council. The Council's duties include gathering information, developing technical advice and presenting best practices recommendations to the SoT regarding all manner of regulatory concerns of self-driving cars. The Council will include representatives from industry, academia, state and local authorities, engineers, consumer and safety advocates, environmental experts and the NHTSA.

Senate Actions
In addition to drafting a companion bill to the SELF-DRIVE Act, the U.S. Senate is in the process of conducting hearings on regulating self-driving trucks and other commercial vehicles. The most recent hearing examined the benefits of automated truck safety technology, as well as the potential impact on jobs and the economy. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has stated that the inclusion or exclusion of trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles has been a key topic of discussion in the ongoing bipartisan efforts to implement self-driving vehicle legislation.

Attention to Self-Driving Car Legislation Is Critical
Congress has prioritized self-driving vehicle legislation. With broad support from heavy hitters from Silicon Valley and Detroit, a final bill could be ready for the President's signature within a matter of months. The resulting law and the regulations promulgated as a result will surely impact the IoT industry in a big way. IoT components will be an important part of the safety, cybersecurity and privacy aspects of the SELF-DRIVE Act and related legislation. Marashlian & Donahue is keeping a close watch on all developments and will be providing updates to interested parties on a regular basis.

For further information concerning the self-driving car legislation and related matters, please contact Marashlian & Donahue PLLC's managing partner, Jonathan S. Marashlian, at (703) 714 1313 or jsm@commlawgroup.com; or IoT attorney Ronald E. Quirk, Jr., at (703) 714-1305 or req@commlawgroup.com.

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