February 11, 2020
Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce
2125 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
Ranking Member Cathy Rodgers Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce
2322 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
Re: Autonomous Vehicles: Promises and Challenges of Evolving Vehicle Technologies Hearing
Dear Chairwoman Schakowsky and Ranking Member Rodgers, and Honorable Members of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee,
The Center for Auto Safety (the Center) is pleased to present this letter to the Subcommittee regarding your hearing on “Autonomous Vehicles: Promises and Challenges of Evolving Vehicle Technologies.” We respectfully request this letter be made a part of the official record of this hearing.
With almost 40,000 traffic crash deaths and over 2.5 million serious injuries on our roads every year, there is no time to waste in moving forward towards deploying safe vehicle technology, be it autonomous or otherwise. The Center firmly believes Autonomous Vehicle (AV) technology will play a significant role in a safer transportation future and is committed to seeing its successful and safe integration into our transit ecosystem. Yet, permitting the deployment of self-described self-driving vehicles on public roads, based exclusively on the marketing assurances of the auto industry, ignores that industry’s well-documented history of unsupported advertising claims clashing with reality.
This history is why the Center is so pleased your Subcommittee is holding this hearing. It is our hope today is the beginning of an honest conversation about how Congress can pave the way to improving safety on our streets for hundreds of millions of Americans instead of simply improving the stock portfolio of a few companies and the venture capital funds that support them. The time for glossy marketing brochures is over. The time for required minimum performance standards focused on safety for everyone, backed by transparency and urgency, is now.