MEMA applauds the House of Representatives for their passage of H.R. 3388, the SELF DRIVE Act, which creates a roadmap for continued deployment of highly automated vehicles (HAV). Motor vehicle parts suppliers lead the development of many of the advanced vehicle technologies used in automated vehicles. Included in this bill are key priorities for MEMA’s 1,000 company members, such as affirming suppliers’ ability to test vehicle systems on public roads and clarifying the federal and state roles in regulating automated vehicles.
There has been an alarming rise in traffic deaths in the U.S. in the last few years. The factors contributing to this rise are still unclear, but one there is a proven way to reduce them: advanced driver assistance systems, such as automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive front lighting. MEMA members are on the forefront of vehicle innovation and new safety technologies. An increased adoption of these new technologies, many of which are already available, will quickly lead to a decrease in fatalities.
MEMA’s recent study demonstrates that if these technologies were fully deployed in U.S. vehicles, fatalities in this country would decrease by close to one third. That is nearly 10,000 lives saved every year, with more potential lives saved as additional technologies come on line.
MEMA members are committed to reducing or eliminating fatalities on our roads, and as such we appreciate the bipartisan passage of H.R. 3388, the SELF DRIVE Act, and recognize the efforts of House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Digital Commerce & Consumer Protection Subcommittee Chairman Bob Latta (R-Ohio) for working with stakeholders and all members of the committee on this legislation. We also wish to acknowledge the efforts of Subcommittee Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.).
MEMA, which is a founding member of the Coalition for Future Mobility that aims to educate policymakers about the life-saving potential of HAV technologies, will continue working on this issue in the Senate, where a similar effort is being led by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.). The Senate released draft legislation late last week and will hold a hearing on Wednesday on self-driving trucks. Heavy-duty (+10,000 pounds) are not included in the House bill nor are they included in the Senate staff draft bill. MEMA continues meeting with Senate Commerce Committee members and staff to advocate for inclusion of heavy-duty vehicles in the legislation.
For more information, please contact Tom Lehner.