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Congresswoman Debbie Dingell

Representing the 12th District of Michigan

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Reps. Dingell, Latta Highlight Self-driving Vehicle Legislation at American Center for Mobility

August 15, 2017
Press Release

YPSILANTI, MI – After working hand in hand to advance automated vehicle legislation through the House Energy and Commerce Committee in July, U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and U.S. Congressman Bob Latta (OH-05), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, today toured the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run (ACM) to learn about the groundbreaking work taking place on automated vehicle testing, evaluation and standard setting. The Representatives were joined by ACM President John Maddox to discuss ways to support the safe deployment of automated vehicles and how the SELF DRIVE Act will impact the future of mobility in the United States and save lives on the road.

“This is critical time in the history of the auto industry,” said Dingell. “Highly automated vehicles will transform transportation as we know it with the promise of saving lives, improving mobility for seniors and the disabled community, and reducing congestion on our roads – but only if we in Congress get it right. I was proud to work with Congressman Latta and my colleagues to advance the bipartisan SELF DRIVE Act last month. It’s critical that we continue to engage with experts at ACM and all stakeholders to ensure we’re a building a regulatory framework that first and foremost protects consumers, but also keeps the U.S. at the forefront of innovation and technology. Automated vehicles are going to be developed whether we like it or not – the only question is where and by whom. We want this next wave of innovation to take place here in the United States, and we look forward to continuing to work with ACM and all partners to ensure we stay in the driver’s seat.”

“Self-driving cars have the potential to make our roads safer and improve quality of life,” said Latta. “Facilities like the American Center for Mobility will prove essential to the development, testing, and deployment of autonomous vehicles as these controlled environments help produce cars that can reduce traffic fatalities and improve mobility. That’s why I worked with Rep. Dingell to develop the necessary federal framework we need to allow our innovators to bring this technology to our roadways. In addition, Ohio and Michigan are perfectly positioned to benefit from the economic boost and jobs that this new technology will bring to the region.” 

In 2015, over 35,000 people died on our roadways and early estimates indicate the number could rise to over 40,000 in 2016. NHTSA estimates that 94 percent of highway crashes are due to human error. The development of automated vehicles has the potential to significantly reduce traffic fatalities in the United States.

The bipartisan SELF DRIVE Act, which passed the Energy and Commerce Committee by a 54-0 vote, clarifies the federal and state roles for regulating highly automated vehicles (HAVs) to encourage the testing, development and deployment of HAVs in the United States. The legislation includes important safety provisions, including requiring the submission of safety assessment certifications by manufacturers of HAVs and requiring NHTSA to initiate a rulemaking to develop new HAV standards. The legislation also requires manufacturers to develop a written cybersecurity plan that includes vulnerability detection and response practices and a process for controlling access to automated driving systems.

As one of 10 automated vehicle proving grounds in the country designated by the Department of Transportation, ACM is leading the way to ensure government, business and academia are all working in concert to ensure the safe deployment of automated vehicles.

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