*Got an extra hour on your hands? Watch the subcommittee discuss the automomous vehicle legislation draft in the above video
The Congressional Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection advanced groundbreaking bipartisan self-driving legislation this week that will prioritize safety while encouraging innovation, according to committee chair, Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH). The draft legislation passed out of the subcommittee by voice vote.
“For Americans to enjoy the benefits that self-driving cars have to offer, we must develop an appropriate regulatory structure that SAFELY allows industry to innovate,” said Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR). “We want aggressive oversight of the industry, but with the flexibility needed to test and generate the safest and most affordable technologies possible. There is an important balance we must strike, and I believe this legislation does just that.”
Recognizing the life-saving potential of self-driving vehicles and the need to reduce fatalities, the subcommittee has taken the lead in the House to draft legislation that addresses these concerns. The approved draft legislation provides guidance on four critically important issues surrounding this rapidly-evolving industry including: protecting consumers, fostering innovation, increasing mobility and boosting research and development.
More than 35,000 traffic fatalities occurred on U.S. roadways in 2015. If 2016 estimates are confirmed, it marks the first time in almost a decade that more than 40,000 people have died in traffic accidents in a single year.
“Why is all of this important? One word: Safety,” Chairman Latta said. “We don’t have to accept a world where millions of accidents and thousands of fatalities on the roadway are a necessary evil of driving. In a nation of over 320 million, each year approximately 6 million Americans are involved in vehicular accidents, resulting in nearly 2 million injuries.”