Dingell challenges U.S. to stay at forefront of self-driving car innovation

Photo from video U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell challenged the United States to stay at the forefront of innovation and technology in the development and deployment of automated vehicles.

Photo from video
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell challenged the United States to stay at the forefront of innovation and technology in the development and deployment of automated vehicles.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) today challenged the United States to stay at the forefront of innovation and technology in the development and deployment of automated vehicles while ensuring consumer safety is protected. “Automated vehicles are already helping transform mobility in this country,” Dingell said in an Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing titled “Self-driving Cars: Road to Deployment.” “With 35,000 deaths on the road each year, this technology has the potential to improve safety and save lives. It is also an issue of economic competitiveness. “Automated vehicles will be developed globally whether we like it or not, and it is critical that America be at the forefront of innovation and technology by taking the lead in developing these potentially life-saving advances. “We heard from our witnesses today about existing regulations and barriers that could inhibit the deployment of automated vehicles once they are proven safe, including the fact that existing federal motor vehicle safety standards assume a human driver is always operating the car, and avoiding a patchwork of state laws. Our challenge now is to make sure we’re protecting the consumer while not impeding technological development. “Congress must strike the right balance between supporting innovation and keeping consumers safe, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the committee in a bipartisan manner to introduce legislation to achieve these goals.” Dingell, co-chair of the House Smart Transportation Caucus, has worked with a coalition of federal, state and local leaders, industry and academia on the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run in Ypsilanti Township, which will focus on testing, verification, and self-certification of automated vehicles and was just designated as an Automated Vehicle Proving Ground by the U.S. Department of Transportation. “I’m proud of the American Center for Mobility and the work my home state is doing to lead the way in this area,” Dingell said. “Michigan is dedicating considerable resources to automated vehicles, and I’m committed to helping it and the United States remain leaders in this vital field.” Witnesses at today’s hearing included Nidhi Kalra, Ph.D., senior information scientist at the RAND Corp. and a co-director of RAND’s Center for Decision Making Under Uncertainty; Mike Abelson, vice president of global strategy at General Motors Corp.; Joseph Okpaku, vice president of public policy at Lyft; Gill Pratt, Ph.D., CEO of the Toyota Research Institute; and Anders Karrberg, vice president of government affairs at Volvo Car Group. (To watch Dingell’s opening statement, go to www.dropbox.com/s/rsllg09bcfcele8/Rep.%20Dingell%20Remarks%20DCCP%20Hrg%20on%20Self-Driving%20Cars%2020170214.mp4?dl=0.)