According to a survey, three in five voters support the use of self-driving vehicles. Voters overwhelmingly predict the positive impact of self-driving vehicles; 63 percent say it will benefit the elderly, 65 percent say they will benefit the disabled, 59 percent say they will help drunk drivers, and 61 percent say it will improve situations where drivers are distracted. Additionally, 57 percent strongly prefer federal standards when it comes to laws governing use of self-driving vehicles, and 70 percent agree with its importance regarding safety and state coordination.
“It’s clear that voters support self-driving vehicles and understand their benefits. They have the potential to make travel safer, enhance worker productivity, increase transportation efficiency, improve our economy, and increase mobility for the elderly,” said Day.
“However, to realize the full benefits of self-driving vehicles, we need the right policies in place that will encourage innovation and ensure passengers are safe,” Day continued. “In order to encourage innovation, regulations should be technology-neutral, flexible, and responsive. We also need frameworks in place such as defined performance standards for automobiles and a single set of federal standards. Without preemption, we risk impeding our innovators and ceding America’s leadership in the self-driving industry.”
Morning Consult conducted online interviews among a national sample of 2001 registered voters from June 21-22, 2017. Full results are available at ctecintelligence.com.
To Read Tim Day's written testimony, click here. Below is Day's oral testimony as prepared for delivery.
Oral Testimony of Tim Day
Senior Vice President, Chamber Technology Engagement Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Before the Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection
Of The House Energy and Commerce Committee
Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 at 10:00 AM
2123 Rayburn House Office Building
Chairman Latta, Ranking Member Schakowsky, and Members of the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee, good morning, my name is Tim Day and I’m the Senior Vice President of C_TEC, the Chamber Technology Engagement Center.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony this morning on self-driving vehicles.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
The Chamber established C_TEC to advance technology’s role in the U.S. economy.
I am here to testify on a vital aspect of the business environment: preemption, and also to support the Leader Act.
The Chamber of Commerce has historically supported preemption for all modes of transportation, as transportation is key to healthy interstate commerce and the growth of our economy.
For example, according to the Department of Transportation, more than one dollar out of every ten dollars produced in the U.S. GDP is related to transportation activity.
As you can imagine, the United States is not the only country currently developing self-driving technology. In China, Baidu (By-doo), one of the largest internet companies in the world, has already announced that it will introduce its fully autonomous cars on highways and open city roads by 2020.
And Germany recently passed legislation to allow road-test vehicles in which drivers will be allowed to take their hands off the steering wheel.
For the United States to continue to be globally competitive in the self-driving vehicle market, we must provide American innovators with a single set of standards as opposed to a patchwork of laws by individual states.
Technology companies come in all sizes. Many of the current industry leaders once began with just an idea. The companies of tomorrow will also be started with ideas, and we must create a business friendly environment to allow them to succeed and thrive.
A recent Morning Consult survey of over 2,000 registered voters found that
- Three in five voters support the use of self-driving vehicles;
- It also found that voters overwhelmingly predict the positive impact of self-driving vehicles on the disabled and elderly citizens of this country, as well as on issues of drunk and distracted driving;
- And finally voters strongly prefer federal standards when it comes to laws governing the use of self-driving vehicles
While further education of the American public is needed, this poll points to the fact that the public recognizes both the potential benefits of this technology and the role of the federal government.
C_TEC’s autonomous vehicle working group has been convening stakeholders from both the commercial and passenger vehicle sectors to ensure that the regulatory environment will allow for the U.S. to capitalize on these societal and commercial prospects.
From an economic perspective, a study by Intel completed this month shows that the economic opportunity from self-driving vehicles will grow from $800 billion dollars to $7 trillion dollars as self-driving vehicles become mainstream.
The study also finds that by 2050, the passenger economy, the result of self-driving vehicles turning drivers into passengers, will be a $7 trillion dollar global industry. Business use will generate $3 trillion dollars as industries use self-driving vehicles to reshape their businesses and leverage new opportunities.
All this to say, when we talk about self-driving vehicles, commercial or passenger, there is a lot at stake for the American people, our businesses, and our economy.
To conclude, the Chamber supports the development of voluntary standards that do not constrain innovation. We advocate for technology-neutral policies that will allow new technology to develop, and recommends against policies that are too specific. The Chamber also supports exemptions and recommends that regulatory agencies work closely with the industry to craft standards.
On behalf of C_TEC, thank you for this opportunity to testify in support of the Leader Act. I look forward to your questions.