Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH5), Republican Leader of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, reintroduced the Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research in Vehicle Evolution (SELF DRIVE) Act. This bill creates a much-needed federal framework to help the deployment of autonomous vehicles (AVs) in the United States.
“Self-driving cars have the potential to reduce traffic accidents and deaths, increase mobility, and improve quality-of-life,” said Latta. “Autonomous vehicle technology can protect millions of Americans, while at the same time, providing seniors and those living with disabilities a way to live their life outside of their homes. In order for the United States to lead on this cutting-edge technology, we need a framework that allows industry to innovate while ensuring high safety standards. I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to work with me on this bill to better ensure that all Americans are safer while on the road and have increased access to mobility.”
In the 115th Congress, the SELF DRIVE Act was not only supported by every Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, but also passed in the House of Representatives unanimously. Congressman Latta’s Energy and Commerce Committee colleagues Congressmen Fred Upton (R-MI6), Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX26), Bill Johnson (R-OH6), Billy Long (R-MO7), Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN8), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK2), Earl L. "Buddy" Carter (R-GA1), Greg Pence (R-IN6), and John Joyce, M.D. (R-PA13) are cosponsors of the SELF DRIVE Act.
“Recent developments in autonomous vehicle technology have prompted the real need for a national AV standard to ensure passenger safety and incentivize continued investment in driverless capabilities,” said Upton. “As the auto capital of our nation, Michigan will play a pivotal role in deploying driverless vehicles and propelling our autonomous fleets into the future. This critical technology requires a clear national standard, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to set up the necessary infrastructure to continue this important work.”
“The SELF DRIVE Act is a common-sense solution in our efforts to advance the innovative technology of self-driving cars,” said Burgess. “This technology has the potential to save countless lives, and this legislation will be a win for American consumers and vehicle manufacturers. Throughout my life, I have seen the life-saving effects of advancements in vehicle technology, from the seat belt, to the air bag, to automatic emergency braking. Self-driving vehicles are the next step in this trajectory by increasing mobility for those who might not have previously had access while contributing to safer vehicle operation and fewer deaths on the road. Also, it will allow the manufacturers the flexibility to develop this technology so that they can safely and effectively deploy these cars of the future. Congress must work together to pass the SELF DRIVE Act to start improving lives on and off the road.”
“Known as the Crossroads of America, Indiana is home to a number of industries that are integral in supporting innovation and adoption of self-driving vehicles nationwide. It is vital that we continue to modernize policies that cultivate innovation in order to maintain our status as a national leader, improve safety, and bolster job opportunities and economic growth,” said Bucshon. “The SELF DRIVE Act will help modernize Hoosier transportation and infrastructure by providing a framework for self-driving vehicles that enhances consumer safety and spurs innovation of these cutting-edge technologies.”
“Autonomous vehicles have the opportunity to greatly improve the lives of Americans and provide new opportunities for those who are unable to drive themselves,” said Mullin. “The SELF DRIVE Act will give entrepreneurs clear federal guidance on the path forward and ensure the United States is not outpaced in deploying this emerging technology.”
“I applaud the reintroduction of the SELF DRIVE Act today,” said Carter. “I support this legislation because of its importance for autonomous vehicles in the United States. These vehicles are well on their way to hitting our roads, and this legislation is vital to ensure we have the proper legal framework for the cars of the future.”
“Representing the Crossroads of America, I will always advocate for legislation that supports innovation in the transportation industry,” said Pence. “The SELF DRIVE Act is necessary step forward in ensuring that innovators and companies throughout Indiana’s 6th District are leading the way in developing autonomous technologies – and means good-paying jobs and economic opportunities for Hoosiers.”
“In Pennsylvania and around the country, American researchers and scientists are continuing to make groundbreaking progress in the development of autonomous vehicle technology,” said Joyce. “The SELF DRIVE Act is commonsense legislation to help our nation win the race to 21st century innovation while prioritizing Americans’ safety and success. As we compete against China and other world leaders, Congress cannot allow bureaucratic red tape to hinder the development and deployment of AVs. Advancing the SELF DRIVE Act is an important step in this mission, and I am grateful to my friend Congressman Bob Latta for his leadership on this pivotal issue.”