Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, and Minority Leader Schumer:
Roughly two years ago, the Coalition for Future Mobility – a group of key stakeholders that represents a wide cross section of auto manufacturers, suppliers, repairers, technology companies, mobility providers, state and local governments, safety and national security groups, consumers, seniors, and persons with disabilities – was created to highlight the critical need for a federal framework that allows for the safe development, testing, and deployment of automated vehicles (AVs) here in the United States. We write to thank those Members of Congress who were involved in working to pass AV legislation in the 115th Congress and urge you to continue those efforts this year. Without question, Congress is uniquely suited to help provide greater clarity regarding both state and federal authorities that can help when it comes to the safe testing, development, and 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 37,000 men, women, and children in 2017. By facilitating technology that can potentially eliminate these bad choices and unintentional errors, we can help prevent many crashes from happening and dramatically reduce injuries and fatalities on our 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. Large-scale AV implementation could also mean less congestion and greater efficiency on our roads.
Last Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate recognized the importance of providing a federal framework for AVs. The House of Representatives passed the bipartisan SELF DRIVE Act (H.R. 3388) without a vote in opposition. Shortly after the House acted, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation unanimously passed similar legislation. In spite of strong, bipartisan support, legislation was unable to receive floor consideration in the Senate. Our coalition encourages you and your colleagues to redouble your efforts to move forward with legislation that will help improve safety, provide a tech-neutral path forward for private industry to innovate, and ensure clarity for regulators at all levels of government.
The status quo should not be acceptable. Recognizing the potential of this technology to positively impact millions of Americans, we urge you to support a federal AV framework this Congress. Our Coalition members stand ready to work with you.
Alliance for Transportation Innovation
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
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
Association of Global Automakers
Competitive Enterprise Institute
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. 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