Dear Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader Schumer, and Republican Leader McConnell:
As companies and organizations dedicated to the development and safe deployment of automated vehicles (AVs) and related safety technologies into our transportation system, we commend the Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, and in both chambers, who continue to champion this important issue and we urge you to support those efforts this year.
As a global leader in the development of these potentially lifesaving technologies, the U.S. is at the forefront of innovations that will transform transportation. As we approach a pivotal moment in the evolution of this technology, we have an opportunity to work collaboratively and chart a course that sustains U.S. leadership and innovation of these critical safety and mobility solutions for decades to come. Put simply, the investments and policies being made today by our organizations toward a safer, more environmentally friendly, accessible, and equitable U.S. transportation future depends on a thoughtful federal legislative approach and regulatory framework for AVs.
We reach out to you as members of the Coalition for Future Mobility (“the Coalition” or “CFM”), a group of key stakeholders that represents a wide cross section of auto manufacturers, suppliers, repairers, technology companies, mobility providers, state and local transportation agencies, safety and national security groups, consumers, seniors, and persons with disabilities. Our Coalition was created in 2017 to highlight the critical need for a federal framework that allows for the development and safe deployment of AVs here in the United States.
As the 117th Congress gets underway, we write to underscore the critical role you have in helping to establish that framework, including by providing clarity that affirms existing roles and maintains the balance of responsibilities between federal-state-local levels of government, modernizes federal regulatory processes, and ensures rigorous safety standards for the continued development and safe deployment of AV technologies.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that human choice or error is a factor in approximately 94% of all motor vehicle crashes on U.S. roads – crashes that took the lives of over 36,000 men, women, and children, and injured an estimated 2.74 million more Americans in 2019. By facilitating the modernization of the regulatory environment to embrace technologies that could help reduce or eliminate these human factors, Congress can help prevent many crashes from happening – thereby reducing injuries and fatalities on our nation’s roadways.
While safety is a critical component in the drive for the development of AVs, these vehicles can also provide life-changing opportunities for those who are not adequately served by current mobility options, such as seniors, persons with disabilities, and those who require more affordable transportation. Further, the benefits of these vehicles extend to other roadway users, not to mention the benefits that AV’s have shown various communities and individuals in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Coalition is committed to AV deployment that can help ease congestion and gridlock, increase economic opportunities, and reduce the environmental impact of transportation.
Building on prior bipartisan support for AV legislation in both chambers, our Coalition encourages you and your colleagues to redouble efforts to move forward with thoughtful legislation to help improve safety; provide a technology-neutral path forward to invest and innovate; affirm existing roles and maintain the balance between federal-state-local authorities; and reinforce the critical role of U.S. leadership in the development and deployment of AV technologies.
Recognizing the potential of this technology to positively impact millions of Americans, we urge you to support bipartisan efforts to send President Biden a federal AV framework that can be signed into law this Congress. Other countries are moving forward with AV policies, and the U.S. – home of self-driving technology – should not allow itself to lose its leadership position. Our Coalition members stand ready to work with you to make this important legislation a reality.
Alliance for Transportation Innovation
Alliance for Automotive Innovation
American Chemistry Council
American Council of the Blind
American Highway Users Alliance
American Network of Community Options and Resources
Americans for Tax Reform
Argo AI, LLC
Automotive Service Association
Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Intelligent Transportation Society of America
Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association
National Association of Manufacturers
National Cued Speech Association
National Federation of the Blind
National Taxpayers Union
R Street Institute
Securing America’s Future Energy
Telecommunications Industry Association
U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC)
U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Tire Manufacturers
Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America
cc: All Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senators