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Dingell Highlights Jobs, Innovation in Southeast Michigan During Hearing on Autonomous Vehicles

Washington, February 11, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) highlighted jobs and innovation happening in Southeast Michigan during a Congressional hearing about autonomous vehicles (AVs).  She also noted the urgent need for Congress to pass legislation to facilitate the safe deployment of AV’s this year so the United States can remain on the cutting edge of innovation and technology 

“There’s never been a more exciting time to be in the auto industry. Automated vehicles aren’t just something we read about in science fiction novels anymore; they’re already here, transforming mobility and the transportation as we know it,” said Dingell. “AVs are bringing jobs to this country, but we can’t take this for granted. Automated vehicles will be developed globally whether we like it or not, and it’s critical that America be at the forefront of innovation by leading development of this technology. If we don’t, we will lose our competitive edge in this critical space.”

Video of Dingell’s opening statement is available here.

In 2018, over 36,000 people died on our roadways. 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.

Tuesday’s hearing follows months of discussions to establish a framework for the safe development and deployment of self-driving vehicles that would allow manufactures to innovate and increase safety on the roads.

In an opening statement, Dingell highlighted the American Center for Mobility including their groundbreaking work on automated vehicle testing, evaluation and standard setting. Dingell was instrumental in founding the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run by bringing together the City of Detroit, Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the University of Michigan, and other public and private partners. Last fall, Dingell and the US Department of Transportation announced a $7.5 million federal grant for research, development, and testing of self-driving technologies or Michigan’s mobility ecosystem.

“We need to do this right. Safety, including cybersecurity, must be our top priority here,” Dingell continued. “Nobody wants to let unsafe technologies on the road, but we also don’t want to prevent vehicles that improve safety from reaching consumers easier. We have worked hard to find consensus over the last year but now is the time for action.”

In 2017, the House unanimously passed legislation championed and developed by Dingell that supports the safe development and deployment of self-driving vehicles. The SELF DRIVE Act establishes a framework for the regulation of self-driving vehicles that would allow manufacturers to innovate and increase safety on the roads.

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