170721 autonomousvehicles walden pallon


July 24, 2017


The Honorable Greg Walden


House Energy and Commerce Committee

U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Frank Pallone

Ranking Member

House Energy and Commerce Committee

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Walden and Ranking Member Pallone:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports the autonomous vehicle legislation that was recently marked up in the Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection. We look forward to working with you on this legislation as the legislative process continues.

The Chamber created C_TEC to promote the role of technology in our economy and to advocate for rational policies that drive economic growth, spur innovation, and create jobs. ILR is an affiliate of the Chamber dedicated to making our nation’s civil legal system simpler, faster, and fair for all participants.

The Chamber appreciated the opportunity to testify on June 27, 2017, to the Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection as they addressed self-driving vehicles. As the self-driving vehicle legislation has now moved to the full committee, the Chamber would like to express its support and offer ourselves as a resource for the Committee going forward.

As the nation’s voice for small and large businesses, the Chamber understands the opportunities self-driving vehicles present for consumers, businesses, and the U.S. economy. The Chamber also appreciates that regulatory and other barriers can impede the development of self-driving vehicles and delay the full realization of their many benefits.

Self-driving vehicles have tremendous potential to make travel safer, enhance worker productivity, increase transportation efficiency, improve our economy, and increase mobility for the elderly. This legislation is a critical step towards capitalizing on the opportunities of this technology as long as it continues to be technologically neutral, promote coordination in legislation, and support innovation and market competition.

The Chamber’s autonomous vehicle working group has been convening conversations and partnerships with stakeholders to help guide policymakers, regulators, the public at large and the business community on the benefits of self-driving vehicle technologies. This group represents our diverse membership including Original Equipment Manufacturers, software, and insurance companies to name a few.

We appreciate the work of the subcommittee and full committee to strike an appropriate preemptive balance with the legislation. Consistent with the Chamber’s past position on preemption for all modes of transportation, we support the committee’s work to strengthen provisions to limit the possibility of excessive litigation that could ultimately delay, hinder, or halt the development of technology.

The Chamber is encouraged by the self-driving vehicle legislation, and we hope to work with the Committee moving forward to ensure innovation and development are not stifled as a result of inconsistent state liability rules and entrepreneurial plaintiffs lawyers. We look forward to working with the committee to further refine and improve the legislation.


Tim Day, Senior Vice President, C_TEC

Lisa Rickard, President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform

170721 autonomousvehicles walden pallon