Congress took the first step toward setting rules for self-driving cars, as a House panel unanimously approved a measure that would allow thousands of automated vehicles to hit the road while federal regulators develop safety standards and preempt state rules.

The legislation garnered bipartisan support after Republican leaders adopted Democratic proposals for provisions to bolster safety oversight of self-driving vehicles by federal regulators.

“Today’s markup represents the most significant step this subcommittee has taken to date to ultimately enact comprehensive legislation on self-driving technologies and services,” said Bob Latta, the Ohio Republican who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection panel. “Our work is not done and we will continue to perfect language as we prepare to move quickly to full-committee markup.”

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