Senate Autonomous Vehicle Bill Poses Implications for Aftermarket Industry

The American Vision for Safer Transportation through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START), the autonomous vehicle (AV) bill passed by the Senate in October, may have implications for the automotive aftermarket industry.

“The aftermarket’s role in the deployment of level 3, 4 and 4 autonomous vehicles – called highly autonomous vehicles by both bills – has been more or less ignored, even though retrofitting is considered critical in terms of getting a critical mass of AVs on the roads,” said Stephen Barlas, author for SearchAutoParts.com.

However, not all feedback from aftermarket-related consumer and  advocacy groups was bad following provisions to the bill made in the Committee.

The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), for example, applauded the amendment to the bill that would create the Highly Automated Vehicle Data Access Advisory Committee, Barlas noted. The committee would then make recommendations to Congress in regards to “the ownership of, control of, or access to, information or data that vehicles collect, generate, record, or store in an electronic form that is retrieved from a highly automated vehicle or automated driving system.”

Bill Long, president of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, the light vehicle aftermarket division of MEMA, said the committee would ensure consumers maintained the right to repair.

“Data access to the automotive aftermarket is vital to ensuring motorists retain freedom of choice for vehicle repair,” he said to Barlas. “We are encouraged for this amendment. We look forward to working with the advisory committee on this important issue.”

With the tax reform bill passed, Congress now has limited time to pass the bill before the end of the year.

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