Dear Chairman Wicker and Ranking Member Cantwell:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC) respectfully submits the following statement for the record for the committee’s hearing entitled, “Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology.”
C_TEC strongly supports the Committee’s efforts to understand how to most effectively reduce the number of roadway fatalities and ensure the safety of America’s transportation system. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 36,540 Americans lost their lives in 2018 due to motor vehicle crashes, 94% of which are caused by human error.
To address this problem, C_TEC believes that the safe deployment of automated vehicles would dramatically reduce the number of motor vehicle fatalities and make our roads safer. Moreover, the introduction of automated vehicles would empower millions of Americans currently unable to drive or otherwise limited in their mobility. In addition, automated vehicles would bring significant economic benefits for American workers and consumers. Automated vehicles are projected to add $800 billion in cumulative economic benefits by 2050.
C_TEC believes that Congress can take an important role in facilitating the safe development, testing, and deployment of this life-saving technology and earlier this year developed Automated Vehicle Policy Principles to guide our approach (attached). These principles include: ensure a safety first approach, preserve the existing delineation of regulatory roles, promote technology and stakeholder neutrality, advance safe automated vehicle development, testing, and deployment, and modernize federal motor vehicle safety standards and regulations.
Last Congress, C_TEC was supportive of the Committee’s leadership on S. 1885, the “American Vision for Safer Transportation through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act,” and we are encouraged by the current bicameral, bipartisan process to develop automated vehicle legislation. In addition, we are appreciative of the leadership shown by the Administration and by Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao to advance automated vehicles and maintain American leadership in this technology.
Automated vehicles has the potential to save thousands of lives every year, enhance mobility for millions of Americans, and spur economic growth. Thank you for including this statement into the record, and C_TEC stands ready to work with the Committee and its members to safely advance automated vehicles.
Senior Vice President
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
cc: Members of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation