How Congress factors into the future of self-driving cars

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By Lindsey Granger, Buzz60

Driverless cars continue to pick up steam, yet technology is not the only factor in the future of autonomous vehicles.

Congress and lawmakers will likely play a major role in the progress of these cars, even as Uber and Google's Waymo are testing vehicles in different cities across the nation.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94 percent of crashes in the U.S. are due to human error.

Check out photos of self-driving cars

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Self-driving cars, Google, Tesla
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Self-driving cars, Google, Tesla
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff (L) takes a ride in a self-driving car at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California on Wednesday, July 01, 2015.AFP PHOTO/JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)
An Autopilot self-driving sign sits on the window of a Tesla Motors Inc. electric automobile store in Munich, Germany, on Monday, March 30, 2015. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk wants to transform Tesla into more of a mass-market automaker by building a battery-cell factory big enough to supply 500,000 vehicles by 2020. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A Tesla Motors Inc. Model S electric automobile fitted with Robert Bosch GmbH automated driving technology drives on a test track in Boxberg, Germany, on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. The market for automated-driving systems might total $42 billion by 2025, Boston Consulting Group estimated in January. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A GPS driving sensor antennae sits on the back of a Tesla Motors Inc. Model S electric automobile at the Robert Bosch GmbH driverless technology press event in Boxberg, Germany, on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. The market for automated-driving systems might total $42 billion by 2025, Boston Consulting Group estimated in January. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - FEBRUARY 02: U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx inspects a Google self-driving car at the Google headquarters on February 2, 2015 in Mountain View, California. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx joined Google Chairman Eric Schmidt for a fireside chat where he unveiled Beyond Traffic, a new analysis from the U.S. Department of Transportation that anticipates the trends and choices facing our transportation system over the next three decades. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A camera peers out from the front grill of Google's self-driving car in Mountain View, California, on May 13, 2014. A white Lexus cruised along a road near the Google campus, braking for pedestrians and scooting over in its lane to give bicyclists ample space. AFP PHOTO/Glenn CHAPMAN (Photo credit should read GLENN CHAPMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: People look at camera on top of a Google self-driving car at the Google headquarters on September 25, 2012 in Mountain View, California. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed State Senate Bill 1298 that allows driverless cars to operate on public roads for testing purposes. The bill also calls for the Department of Motor Vehicles to adopt regulations that govern licensing, bonding, testing and operation of the driverless vehicles before January 2015. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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The NHTSA believes automated vehicles have "great potential" to save lives, suggesting it's all dependent on allowing a greater number of test vehicles on the road.

And that's all dependent on Congress.

According to The Hill, federal law only allows manufacturers to test 2500 vehicles that are exempted from road safety standards — in order to test the safety of the vehicles — on the road per year.

As the industry for autonomous cars continues to grow over the next several years, lawmakers will likely have to examine regulations such as this cap.

Though proponents of autonomous vehicles believe new tech careers will emerge from its creation, critics are concerned they could lead to job losses.

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