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ICYMI: The road ahead for self-driving car legislation


11.17.17

Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH) penned an op-ed on the SELF DRIVE Act, first-of-its-kind legislation passed by the House ensuring safety and innovation in the development of self-driving cars.

Chairman Latta wrote: “Notably, the SELF DRIVE Act received support from all areas of the political spectrum. It passed both the Energy and Commerce Committee and the House of Representatives with unanimous votes. At a time when Congress can’t agree on what to eat for breakfast, every member of the House was on board for this needed legislation. It’s now important that the Senate pass this legislation so we can get it to the President’s desk.”

 “The road ahead for self-driving car legislation”

Nearly 50 million Americans, myself included, will travel over the next week to visit friends and family for Thanksgiving. Some of us will head just down the street, while others will make longer trips across the country. About 90 percent of that holiday travel will be by car.

Unfortunately, this uptick of activity on the roads means an increased risk for accidents, particularly involving distracted and drunk driving. Tragically, more than 37,000 people lost their lives on America’s roadways last year. In my home state of Ohio, the number of traffic deaths is on the rise, too, due to the prevalence of distracted driving.

However, there is good news on the horizon. We don’t have to accept a world where millions of accidents and tens of thousands of fatalities on the road are a necessary evil of driving. As advanced collision avoidance systems and self-driving technologies are developed, we can see a solution to a problem that for too long as just been accepted as a risk of transportation. With 94 percent of car accidents attributable to human error, self-driving cars could take distracted, drunk, or reckless driving out of the equation.

That’s where the SELF DRIVE Act comes in.

The SELF DRIVE Act is legislation I authored, and the House of Representatives passed, which will help ensure the safe and innovative development, testing, and deployment of self-driving cars across the country. Most important, these vehicles could make an incredible difference in making our roadways safer.

Click here to read the full op-ed online.

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