Washington (October 4, 2017) – The Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee today passed legislation that would promote the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles. Several amendments from Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the committee, were included in the legislation, including an amendment establishing a privacy database, safety education rulemaking, and cybersecurity education tools. The legislation next heads to the full Senate for a vote.
“While autonomous vehicles hold the promise of revolutionizing the way we travel, it is our job to animate these transportation technologies with our core American values of safety, security, and privacy,” said Senator Markey. “The legislation passed today in Committee contains several of my amendments that reflect these priorities. As this legislation moves forward, I will continue to work with my colleagues to improve the bill with the goal of establishing the strongest possible rules of the road to protect the public from automotive defects, cyberattacks, and abusive invasions of their privacy.”

Markey amendments adopted in the bill:

  • Markey 1 creates a privacy database that allow consumers to view the whole ecosystem of privacy policies across the automobile spectrum, helping inform the public as to how they can protect their sensitive information.  This amendment directs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to create a publicly-available website detailing what types of information is collected by a motor vehicle and what rights consumers have to stop the collection, use, distribution, or sale of their personally identifiable information.  The database will also detail how that information will be used, minimized, and protected from unauthorized access.
  • Markey 2 ensures that as we transition into the next era of connected cars, consumers are informed about the capabilities and limitations of their autonomous vehicle. This amendment would require NHTSA to issue a rule within three years of enactment that would require the manufacturer to provide clear and concise safety information about the capabilities and limitations of an automated vehicle.
  • Wicker-Markey 1 directs the Secretary of Transportation to develop educational cybersecurity resources to assist consumers in minimizing motor vehicle cybersecurity risks and requires manufacturers to include information direct consumers to such resources.