Right now, states and cities decide if and how they want autonomous vehicles on their streets. But the U.S. Senate is considering a measure that would standardize the rules of the road and let automakers sell more vehicles with self-driving capabilities over the next three years. The House of Representatives has already passed a different version of the bill.
Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota and Democrat Gary Peters of Michigan sponsored the Senate bill. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Thune about it. An edited excerpt of their conversation follows.
Molly Wood: It seems like the major lever in this bill is that carmakers can request a higher number of exemptions from certain safety standards. Some consumer groups have said this is actually lowering safety standards for these cars. Is that accurate?