Statement for the Record on House Consumer Protection & Commerce Subcommittee’s hearing on Automotive Safety

Dear Chairwoman Schakowsky and Ranking Member McMorris Rodgers:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC) respectfully submits the following statement for the record for the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee’s hearing titled “Summer Driving Dangers: Exploring Ways to Protect Drivers and Their Families.”

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 (NHTSA), 37,133 Americans lost
their lives in 2017 due to motor vehicle crashes, 94% of which were caused by human error.

To address this problem, C_TEC believes that the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles will dramatically reduce the number of motor vehicle fatalities and make our roads safer. In my testimony to this Subcommittee last Congress, I advocated for a safety-first approach to regulating autonomous vehicles to ensure public acceptance of the technology and to fulfill the safety promise of autonomous vehicles.

Last Congress, the House passed H.R. 3388, the SELF DRIVE Act, which would establish a safe and effective regulatory framework for autonomous vehicles. C_TEC applauds the Committee’s leadership on this bipartisan legislation, and we look forward to working with the Committee and its members on renewed efforts to further this critical technology.

C_TEC believes that Congress can play an important role in facilitating the safe development, testing, and deployment of this life-saving technology through preserving the traditional federal, state, and local regulatory roles for autonomous vehicles, ensuring a technology and stakeholder-neutral approach, advancing the safe testing of autonomous vehicles, and modernizing motor vehicle safety regulations.

Autonomous vehicles have the potential to save thousands of lives every year and have a critical role to play in reducing roadway deaths. Thank you for including this statement into the record, and C_TEC is ready to work with the Committee and its members to safely advance the adoption of autonomous vehicles.