One issue is that the laws are requiring licensed drivers to sit in the driving seat, eliminating one of the main advantages of the technology. Yet there are more problems. From Marc Scribner:
Bizarrely, Cheh’s bill also requires that autonomous vehicles operate only on alternative fuels.
Another flaw in Cheh’s bill is that it would impose a special tax on drivers of autonomous vehicles. Instead of paying fuel taxes, “Owners of autonomous vehicles shall pay a vehicle-miles travelled (VMT) fee of 1.875 cents per mile.” Administrative details aside, a VMT tax would require drivers to install a recording device to be periodically audited by the government. There may be good reasons to replace fuel taxes with VMT fees, but greatly restricting the use of a potentially revolutionary new technology by singling it out for a new tax system would be a mistake.
Cheh is on the D.C. City Council.