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Congresswoman Debbie Dingell

Representing the 12th District of Michigan

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Dingell Challenges US to Stay at Forefront of Innovation, Protect Consumer Safety in Development of Self-Driving Cars

February 14, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, in an Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing titled “Self-driving Cars: Road to Deployment,” U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) 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,” said Dingell. “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.”
To watch Dingell’s opening statement, please click here

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 Michigan, 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,” said Dingell. “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 Corporation and a co-director of RAND’s Center for Decision Making Under Uncertainty; Mike Abelson, vice president of global strategy at General Motors; 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.