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Pallone Floor Statement on SELF DRIVE Act

Sep 6, 2017
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) delivered the following remarks on the House Floor today during consideration of the SELF DRIVE Act (H.R. 3388):

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 3388, the SELF DRIVE Act. 

I want to start by thanking Chairmen Walden and Latta, Ranking Member Schakowsky, and the other members of the Energy and Commerce Committee for all their work to reach a bipartisan agreement on this bill.

Self-driving cars have the potential in the future to reduce deaths and injuries from car crashes, particularly those that result from driver distraction.  This bill allows for testing and deployment of self-driving cars to help the United States reach that potential sooner.

This legislation also includes important provisions that ensure that safety is the top priority as self-driving cars are developed.  For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be required to issue rules and new safety standards for highly automated vehicles.  The auto industry will be required to submit Safety Assessment Certifications that detail how their vehicles are tested and function on the road.  We also insist that any manufacturer entering this market must have cybersecurity and privacy practices in place before their cars are sold.

Self-driving cars will not come all at once.  Human drivers will be on the roads for the foreseeable future.  So this bill also contains legislative initiatives geared toward protecting drivers and passengers, including requirements to ensure kids are not forgotten in hot cars and that all new cars have the latest technology in their headlamps.

It also ensures NHTSA is able to consider whether a car functions as intended, not just whether it meets a specific standard.  We also encourage NHTSA to come up with a plan on how it can alter testing using ranges so that cars cannot be built just to meet a particular test.

While this bill is not perfect, it is a bipartisan compromise and a product of what we can accomplish when we work together.  As this bill moves to the Senate, I remain committed to continuing bipartisan efforts to address any issues and to ensure that safety is not compromised.  Thank you and I yield back.