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#SubDCCP Discusses Benefits of Driver Assistance Systems


Members Explore How Driver Assistance Systems Lay the Foundation for Deployment of Fully Self-Driving Vehicles

WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, chaired by Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), today held a hearing to discuss the benefits of automated technology available in self-driving cars. During the hearing, members learned about the advantages of crash avoidance technologies and how this innovation is improving safety on the roadways.

During his opening statement, Chairman Latta spoke to the ways that advanced driver assistance systems are changing the marketplace and providing significant safety benefits. “Advanced driver assistance systems are crash avoidance technologies that can protect drivers, reduce crashes, and enhance the convenience of driving. ‘Forward Collision Warning,’ ‘Blind Spot Detection,’ and ‘Lane Departure Warning’ are examples of advanced driver assistance systems.  These systems help drivers make safer decisions on the road by providing real-time information about surrounding roadway activity.”

Speaking to the innovative features available in this market, as well as the testing and deployment process in place for the technologies, was Jeff Klei, President of the North America Automotive Divisions at Continental. “Our Vision Zero philosophy is embedded in each technology we develop as we continue to enable automated driving. At Continental, we describe our systems approach through three primary actions—sense, plan, and act.” He continues, “Sophisticated sensor systems can help eliminate human error and distractions by providing 360-degree awareness of the road at all times…”

The Director of Federal Programs at SAE International, Bill Gouse, testified on the work of its association to provide voluntary recommendations and guidance for automated vehicles. After briefly describing the classification system they developed to define six different levels of driving automation, he continued, “[W]hile work continues to improve passive safety and crashworthiness of vehicles, the potential of implementing technological solutions to avoid or reduce the severity of crashes is a major focus of our members’ committee activities.”

Speaking to the safety benefits of automated technology was Dr. Kay Stepper, the Vice President for Automated Driving and Driver Assistance Systems at Bosch. He relayed, “The truth is that many drivers and passengers are already experiencing the benefits of vehicle automation every day. The active safety system Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is integrated in to every new passenger car sold in the United States. This revolutionary technology, invented by Bosch engineer Dr. Anton van Zanten, has saved thousands of lives.”  He added that Tuesday’s hearing touches on “two topics that lie at the heart” of the transition to vehicular autonomy: “the levels of automation and the importance of the deployment of driver assistance systems.”

Full committee chairman Walden concluded, “We often say that the development of self-driving cars is a life-saving endeavor. Following a devastating year on our nation’s roads, this could not be truer now.”

For more information on today’s hearing, including a background memo, witness testimony, and archived webcast, click HERE.

Press Release