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Latta & Schakowsky: Senate Must Act on Self-Driving Car Bill


06.05.18

WASHINGTON, DC – Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH) and Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) took to CNBC to urge the Senate to pass a national framework for the development and deployment of self-driving cars in a bipartisan op-ed. Last year, the House passed the SELF DRIVE Act by voice vote to provide much-needed federal safety policy and promote innovation.

Latta and Schakowsky write: “The United States has long paved the way for the rest of the world in technological advancements, and with self-driving cars on the horizon, we must continue our proud history of leadership. However, without a national policy, we could lose the opportunity to promote the safe deployment of self-driving cars and realize their full potential benefits.”

“We need a federal framework that provides clear guidance to companies as they innovate while maintaining states’ and municipalities’ traditional roles in traffic safety and consumer protection. The U.S. cannot risk getting outpaced by Europe and Asia, where countries have already enacted legislation to support self-driving cars.”

Check out the op-ed below and click here for more SELF DRIVE Act resources.

Op-Ed: The only way the US can safely move forward with self-driving cars
By #SubDCCP Chairman Bob Latta and Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky

American entrepreneurship has always pushed the boundaries of invention and ingenuity. It’s what spurred Henry Ford, in Dearborn, Michigan, to introduce the Model T, revolutionizing the automobile industry and the trajectory of what’s possible in transportation technology.

A hundred years from now, when our great-grandkids are zipping around town in self-driving cars, we want them to be able to tell the same story of American innovation.

The United States has long paved the way for the rest of the world in technological advancements, and with self-driving cars on the horizon, we must continue our proud history of leadership.

However, without a national policy, we could lose the opportunity to promote the safe deployment of self-driving cars and realize their full potential benefits. We need a federal framework that provides clear guidance to companies as they innovate while maintaining states’ and municipalities’ traditional roles in traffic safety and consumer protection.

The U.S. cannot risk getting outpaced by Europe and Asia, where countries have already enacted legislation to support self-driving cars.

The House of Representatives did its job by passing legislation, and we got it done in a strongly bipartisan manner. Last year, after hundreds of meetings with stakeholders, including safety experts and advocacy groups, the Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously passed the SELF DRIVE Act.

The bill went on to pass the full House by voice vote with many of our colleagues coming to the House Floor to declare their support.

We heard the need for increased safety data for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), greater transparency in disclosures for the public, strengthening NHTSA’s ability to update safety standards designed for traditional vehicles, and consideration of societal changes likely to come with the deployment of self-driving cars.

And the SELF DRIVE Act delivers by establishing a national policy that encourages the testing and deployment of self-driving cars on America’s roads. It also requires that safety assessment certifications are filed by manufacturers and ensures NHTSA’s broad recall authority still applies to these new vehicles. Under this bill, NHTSA maintains the authority to remove vehicles off our roadways that it deems unsafe.

That said, we understand the apprehension many folks have about this technology. Self-driving cars have been making headlines in the past few months, but, unfortunately, not for the right reasons. Recent high-profile accidents, including one that resulted in the tragic death of a pedestrian, have raised concerns about advancing self-driving technology.

We fully agree that thorough and definitive investigations must be carried out by the appropriate agencies. However, these incidents underscore the need for a federal safety framework as implemented by the SELF DRIVE Act. …

Click here to read the full op-ed online.

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