On Monday, July 23, 2018, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance) joined a diverse group of more than 100 stakeholders including advocates for the disabled, veterans, environmental groups, safety advocates in sending a letter to the U.S. Senate to advocate for action on the bipartisan AV START Act.
The AV START Act represents an historic opportunity for Congress to establish a technology neutral regulatory framework to advance groundbreaking technologies while supporting research and investment in the United States.
In a strong showing of bipartisan support, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee unanimously approved the AV START Act last October. The Alliance believes this legislation should be given expedited consideration to ensure it can be reconciled with its House counterpart legislation, the SELF DRIVE Act, which passed the House of Representatives by voice vote on September 6, 2017.
While there are a number of compelling reasons to expedite Senate floor consideration of the AV START Act, the most important factor is the potential lives that could be saved. DOT data shows that human choice or error is a factor in approximately 94 percent of all crashes on U.S. roads—crashes that took the lives of over 37,000 men, women, and children in 2016.
In addition, development and eventual deployment of advanced vehicle technologies have the potential to significantly reduce the number of crashes and at the same time expand mobility options for persons with disabilities, seniors, and those who require access to more affordable transportation.
Further, the decrease in crashes will mean fewer roadway backups, decreasing both congestion and carbon emissions from existing vehicles.
Due to these benefits, we believe the senate should prioritize action on the AV START Act.