Latta to Ohio State Senate Committee: Self Driving Car Technology Can Save Lives, Improve Mobility
Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) submitted written testimony to the Ohio Senate Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee today highlighting the benefits of autonomous vehicles and his efforts in Congress to pass legislation providing the proper Federal framework for the technology. The committee, chaired by Ohio Senator Frank LaRose, was holding an informative hearing on the technology.
Latta, who chairs the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, is the leader in Congress on developing policies that will spur this cutting-edge innovation and improve safety on the nation’s roadways. The testimony points out that last year, more than 37,000 lives were lost due to traffic accidents and that 94% of all crashes are the result of driver error.
Congressman Latta is the author of the bipartisan SELF DRIVE Act, which was approved by the Energy and Commerce Committee last year by a 54-0 vote and was passed by the House unanimously. For the complete testimony, click here.
In his testimony, Latta says, “The SELF DRIVE Act is a product of months of work, including over 300 meetings with stakeholders, to develop legislation to provide a clear safety framework that allows this technology to develop safely with proper oversight. Innovation can flourish without the heavy hand of government.
The SELF DRIVE Act prioritizes consumer safety, aims to reduce traffic-related fatalities, and clarifies federal and state roles around emerging automated vehicle technologies. The federal government will maintain its role as the safety regulator and states will maintain their traditional roles including insurance, licensing and traffic enforcement.
The legislation updates the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) to account for advances in technology and evolution of highly automated vehicles (HAVs). Additionally, the legislation maximizes opportunities for research and development here in the U.S. to create jobs and grow economic opportunities so that that the U.S can remain a global leader in the auto industry. The underpinning safety technology, like automatic emergency braking, is already being integrated into new cars, but there is still much testing that needs to occur to pave the way for fully self-driving cars.”
Latta also highlighted that Ohio is uniquely positioned to lead when it comes to development and testing of this technology. He pointed to the work that the Transportation Research Center in East Liberty is currently undertaking and Governor Kasich’s recent executive order regarding autonomous vehicles.
Latta concludes, “The SELF DRIVE Act establishes a streamlined path for the safe testing, development, and deployment of self-driving cars in the U.S. and supports NHTSA as the nation’s auto safety regulator. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the United States Senate to get this bill to the President’s desk. I also look forward to working with all of the interested parties in Ohio to ensure American innovation can flourish in our great state.”