WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR), Subcommittee on Communications and Techonology Republican Leader Bob Latta (R-OH), and Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) sent a letter to Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) requesting the committee to take up bipartisan self-driving vehicle legislation.
Last Congress, the SELF DRIVE Act was approved unanimously 54-0 out of the Energy and Commerce Committee and passed the House of Representatives by voice vote. This first-of-its-kind legislation would ensure the safe and innovative development, testing, and deployment of self-driving cars. This bipartisan bill would also provide a much-needed federal safety framework to support self-driving technology, an arena where the U.S. stands at risk of losing ground to the rest of the world.
In the 2019 Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index, the United States fell from third to fourth place in their assessment of countries’ preparedness for autonomous vehicles, which is why it is critical for Congress to take action in order to keep investment and innovation in this technology here at home.
“We write to urge the Energy and Commerce Committee to take up bipartisan self-driving vehicle legislation. Last Congress this Committee worked across party lines to draft H.R. 3388, the Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research in Vehicle Evolution Act (SELF DRIVE Act). The SELF DRIVE Act was an example of this Committee at its very best: working together, across the aisle, to develop legislation that will advance life saving technology. As a result of our deliberative, transparent, and bipartisan process, the Committee voted unanimously, 54 yeas and 0 nays, to report the SELF DRIVE Act to the House floor where it again passed unanimously. Unfortunately, the Senate failed to act on the bill,” Walden, Latta, and Rodgers wrote.
The leaders continued, “We are at a critical moment in the development of self-driving technology. We have the opportunity to support life saving technology, create mobility benefits for many communities, and support U.S. jobs and innovation against growing foreign competition. We must continue this important work in the 116th Congress.”
Click here to read the letter.