The Coalition for Future Mobility called on Congress to pass legislation that will assure the safe testing and deployment of Autonomous Vehicles. Leaders of the coalition told Hill staff at a briefing that Autonomous Vehicles may help save lives, increase independence among seniors and those with mobility issues, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and spur innovation.
The Coalition for Future Mobility is a diverse organization of nearly 50 different groups representing American seniors, people with disabilities, safety, the environment, the automotive and technology industries urging Congress to pass legislation that supports the safe testing and deployment of Autonomous Vehicles. The coalition advocates for a comprehensive national strategy that removes barriers to innovation and assures safety, rather than a piecemeal approach to self-driving cars that varies from state to state.
According to government data, 94-96% of all crashes are caused by human choice or error. Autonomous Vehicle technology could help save lives by preventing many crashes and dramatically reducing injuries and fatalities on our roadways. Autonomous Vehicles also provide the opportunity to increase the independence and mobility of those who cannot drive, including veterans with disabilities, the blind and older Americans; reduce greenhouse gases from needless idling; reduce congestion and spur American innovation.
“Autonomous vehicles have the potential to dramatically improve travel options for millions of blind Americans as well as all other Americans who are not able to drive,” said John Paré, Executive Director for Advocacy and Policy at the National Federation of the Blind. “We look forward to the day when we are able to use autonomous vehicles to get to school, to work, or to generally improve our ability to live independent lives.”
“Currently, oil provides 92% of the energy powering the U.S. transportation sector,” said Greg Rogers, Director of Government Affairs and Mobility Innovation at SAFE. “The virtual monopoly of this single commodity presents significant national and economic security risks to the U.S., as American consumers and businesses do not have a scalable alternative. The combination of autonomous, electric and shared transportation technologies has the potential to cut transportation costs by up to 50% compared to internal combustion engine vehicles.”
“Automated vehicles are on our roads today, which is why we need a federal framework that puts rules in place while maintaining state and local authority over their operation on public roads,” said Ron Thaniel, vice president, legislative affairs, Intelligent Transportation Society of America.
With no federal regulations specifically governing highly automated vehicles, more than 30 states and municipalities have passed rules for self-driving vehicles, creating a patchwork of regulations.
“Automakers, suppliers and technology companies are investing significant resources into the development of highly automated vehicles in the United States to improve the safety and efficiency of our transportation system and to provide access to mobility to people who cannot currently drive,” said Hilary Cain, director, technology and innovation policy at Toyota North America.
“However, there is not currently a path to widespread deployment of driverless vehicles in this country. Federal legislation is needed to establish a clear plan and timeline for addressing these existing regulatory barriers and for implementing a regulatory framework that will provide for the safe and responsible deployment of this technology going forward.”
Source: Press Release