Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, a House Energry and Commerce Committee member, said today that the House would work to bring about autonomous vehicle legislation for the new Congress to vote on, after legislation addressing self-driving vehicles stalled in the last Congress. At the CompTIA Fly-in D.C. event this morning, Latta addressed the legislation possibility along with his endorsement of 5G technology for rural America and autonomous car innovation improvements.

“I look forward to working on this legislation to continue to save lives and bring great technology to our roads in the United States,” Latta said.

Back in 2017, Latta co-sponsored The Self Drive Act, a bill that passed the House on a voice vote after receiving unanimous approval from the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The bill would pre-empt states from implementing certain laws governing autonomous driving technology, as well as allowing car manufacturers to deploy up to 100,000 self-driving cars a year that don’t meet normal safety standards.

That bill stalled in Congress, along with the Senate’s own version of a self-driving vehicle bill called the AV START Act, that failed to attain bipartisan support in 2018.

It’s unclear when new legislation for autonomous vehicles would be introduced, but Rep. Latta noted that the ending of the 115th Congress stalled the process.

The Federal Communications Commission was also represented at the event this morning and championed 5G technology as the way of the future. Commissioner Brendan Carr spoke about how the technology can help with autonomous vehicle innovation, virtual reality, and telehealth services.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.