Washington, D.C.— Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) has urged Congress to expedite autonomous vehicle (AV) deployment—and advance the societal benefits this technology promises to provide—by passing AV legislation in the current Congress.
In a letter to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, SAFE advocated updating federal regulatory frameworks to permit innovative AV designs, reinforcing the longstanding federal role in vehicle regulation, and advancing the safety, energy security, and accessibility benefits of AVs.
SAFE urged the Committees to accelerate the creation of federal AV safety standards. Doing so would ensure the AV industry has a unified set of standards to work towards, and boost consumer confidence in this nascent technology.
“AVs not only offer the opportunity to significantly improve roadway safety, but will also accelerate the electrification and accessibility of our transportation system. However, Congressional action is required to establish a pro-innovation, pro-safety framework to unlock the full benefits of the technology and assure the public that AVs are being developed safely. Congress must pass AV legislation that prioritizes safety standards and responsible testing, as a federal regulatory framework will accelerate public benefit from AVs,” said Amitai Bin-Nun, SAFE’s Vice President of Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility Innovation.
The submission follows SAFE’s groundbreaking 2018 study, America’s Workforce and the Self-Driving Future, which found that AVs will provide consumer and societal benefits worth $800 billion per year by 2050, saving $71 billion in congestion costs annually and reducing the economic impact of accidents by $118 billion every year.
About Securing America’s Future Energy
Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Near-total dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector undermines the nation’s economic and national security, and constrains U.S. foreign policy. To combat these threats, SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and transportation sector innovations including electric vehicles, natural gas trucks, and autonomous vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil. Today, the ESLC is co-chaired by Frederick W. Smith and General James T. Conway (Ret), 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.
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