On June 7, 2023, Senator Gary Peters from Michigan gave an interview about autonomous vehicle technology where he stated that: “From a competitive standpoint, there’s no question that it is absolutely essential that this technology get developed here and deployed here in the United States. We’re facing significant international competition from other countries that understand that autonomy represents not only the future of mobility, but it drives other technologies in a significant way.” Just last year, Senator Peters and eleven of his colleagues had also written a letter to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg that: “The federal government has the opportunity and responsibility to foster a domestic autonomous vehicle industry that is as safe as it is innovative, and that provides high-quality jobs across the economy, including in transportation." The underlying question, however, is what sort of regulatory framework will allow the industry to flourish.

With increased innovation in and adoption of connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technologies, the U.S. federal government and state governments across the country are grappling with how to responsibly regulate these new technologies. Questions about CAV regulation ranging from uncertainty about how to allocate regulatory authority between federal and state governments (and between regulatory agencies) to debates over which specific safety standards should apply loom for automakers, insurers, technology companies, and other industry actors. States have taken the initiative in crafting their own CAV frameworks, creating a patchwork of requirements for an industry that would benefit from a uniform regulatory framework given the inherently mobile nature of CAVs. This paper surveys current federal and state legislative and regulatory frameworks aimed at advancing the deployment of CAVs to give an overview of the current state of regulatory frameworks and where they may be headed.