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The U.S. House is set to vote next week on a major bill regulating self-driving cars

It’s another major step toward allowing more driverless vehicles on U.S. roads.

An Uber driverless car on a public road Justin Sullivan / Getty

House lawmakers are set to vote as soon as Wednesday on a bill that would allow the likes of Ford, Google and Uber to test more self-driving cars on U.S. roads.

The bill, called the SELF DRIVE Act, would permit automakers and tech giants to obtain exceptions to federal safety rules — the official U.S. standards that govern everything from steering wheels to seat belts — so that they can test as many as 100,000 experimental vehicles over time.

“With the SELF DRIVE Act coming to the House floor, we are beginning to unlock the full potential of self-driving cars to make roads safer, create new economic opportunities, and help seniors and those with disabilities live more independently,” said Reps. Greg Walden and Bob Latta, two Republican lawmakers leading the effort, in a statement today.

The bill still leaves it to states to decide if self-driving cars can operate on their roadways, but it stops them from regulating their design. It also requires self-driving car manufacturers to submit more data about their safety to the feds, while boosting their vehicles’ cybersecurity defenses and publishing policies that detail the data they collect on drivers and their trips.

Eventually, though, the proposal requires the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to write more lasting rules on self-driving cars. The agency, however, currently has no director — one of many vacancies that has plagued the Trump administration’s approach to the technology.

The House vote is only one of two major steps ahead of the bill. The next fight is the Senate, where lawmakers have toiled on their own bill regulating self-driving cars but lobbying opposition — particularly from unions like the Teamsters — have stalled their efforts.

Reuters first reported on the House’s plans.

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