The following statement was presented by Mitch Bainwol, President and CEO, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade regarding the reauthorization of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Working with industry and government stakeholders, there has been enormous progress in automotive safety over the last 50 years. Since the passage of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act in 1966, fatalities as a share of miles travelled are down 80 percent, and are down 26 percent just over the past decade alone. From designs and technologies that provide substantial protection to occupants involved in crashes to vehicle technologies that assist drivers in avoiding crashes, the automobile industry has made a significant and continuous contribution to motor vehicle and traffic safety. Our testimony provides highlights in three areas where the industry is working to develop technology to increase motor vehicle safety.
Proactive Safety Principles
The Proactive Safety Principles were developed collaboratively by the member companies of both major automobile trade associations, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers, along with DOT. The overarching themes are:
- Enhance and Facilitate Proactive Safety
- Enhance Analysis and Examination of Early Warning Reporting Data
- Maximize Safety Recall Participation Rates
- Enhance Automotive Cybersecurity
Implementation of FAST Act Provisions
Last year Congress made great strides in the advancement of auto safety by passing a multi-year transportation reauthorization bill. The legislation contained important motor vehicle safety provisions such the implementation of the Inspector General’s recommendations to improve defect identification, the enhancement of the early warning reporting system, an annual priorities report and the improvement of NHTSA’s research efforts that will assist in making our roadways even safer.
Advanced Driver Assist Systems and Autonomous Vehicles
The development of auto technology has been instrumental in the advancement of vehicle safety. Through driver assist technologies such as forward collision warning and autonomous braking, the auto industry continues to improve the safety of the traveling public. We are on the cusp of the next technological revolution with the development of partial and fully autonomous vehicles. Now more than ever industry and government must work together to develop a unified program for all states to follow so that we do not stifle innovation.
We stand ready to work with Members of the Committee and Congress to advance the safety of consumers on America’s roadways.