— A panel in the U.S. House of Representatives has reportedly approved a proposal to allow automakers to deploy as many as 100,000 self-driving cars on U.S. roads. The proposal limits states from imposing their own rules on self-driving cars, and it allows the vehicles to hit the road without meeting current auto safety standards, according to Reuters. A House committee will vote on the measure next week, followed by a full chamber vote after a summer recess.
The bipartisan proposal will require automakers to submit safety assessments and show that self-driving functions have fail-safe features, according to Reuters, but it would not require regulatory approval of new technologies before they hit the market. States can still set rules on liability, registration, licensing, insurance and safety inspections, Reuters reported. The proposal has support from automakers and lawmakers, though most groups expect more changes before a final vote.
The news comes as automakers ramp up self-driving technology. Audi says its redesigned A8 sedan is the world's first production car with Level 3 autonomy, a reference to SAE International's six levels (Level Zero through Level 5) of self-driving capability. Level 3 means a car can drive itself in certain cases and monitor what's around it, something the driver must do in a Level 1 or Level 2 car. But when the A8 goes on sale, it won't have that capability, as Audi says it's still working with regulators to introduce the technology.