Car Industry

Congress isn't voting on any self-driving car rules before 2019, report says

Automakers failed in a last-ditch effort to get a more relaxed set of autonomous car testing rules on the books before the end of the year.

Companies like Waymo and Uber will just have to wait and hope to get less stringent rules for testing on the books, according to Congress.

Roadshow

Back in October, we reported on the Department of Transportation's plan to ease regulations for self-driving cars. Since the DOT released its policy initiative, things have been relatively quiet, but according to a report published Thursday by Reuters, we can be confident that nothing will happen with Congress on that front until 2019.

Oh, and Congress won't be addressing a proposal from GM and Tesla that seeks to extend the $7,500 federal EV tax credit either. The self-driving car legislation and the tax credit proposals needed to be attached to another bill funding government operations, but they weren't, so no dice.

Now that Tesla has surpassed the 200,000 vehicle mark, the federal EV tax credit for Tesla will be cut in half on Jan. 1 to $3,750. It will be phased out entirely by the end of the year unless Congress decides to do something about it in 2019, though whether that's likely is not clear.

Automakers and autonomous car developers are now left with the choice between waiting it out and hoping Congress acts in their favor. Or they can appeal to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in hopes that it will relax its rules, which it has said in the past that it is considering doing.