US risks trailing China, others on self-driving cars, congresswoman warns

Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is pushing for federal support of autonomous vehicles

The U.S. is in danger of falling behind to China and other countries without federal support of autonomous vehicles, according to Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

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Although manufacturers are moving forward, Rodgers told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto it’s important to pass legislation to establish a federal framework for commercialization.

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Rodgers said the legislation would make clear that safety falls into federal jurisdiction and traffic patterns, licensing and registration would be included at the local level.

McMorris added that the law passed the House last year but got caught up in the Senate, however, a hearing held this week in Washington by a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee went really well.

Google self-driving Lexus cars at a Google event outside the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

While the benefits of self-driving cars are vast, she said, they will be transformational in a lot of ways.

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“When you think about 37,000 individuals that were killed on our roadways last year largely due to human error, you think about the movement of goods and people, all the congestion in America. You know, this would really create some efficiencies,” she explained.

McMorris believes it would also benefit people with disabilities and seniors.

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