Senate committee holds hearing on ‘The Future of Automotive Mobility, Safety & Technology’

File 20180618 85840 119d7mcBy Madi Hawkins / ASA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, Maritime, Freight and Ports held a hearing entitled “Driving Innovation: the Future of Automotive Mobility, Safety and Technology.” 

The hearing featured witness testimony from John Bozzella, president and CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation; Ann Wilson, senior vice president of the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association; Rana Abbas Taylor, from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and Reuben Sarkar, president and CEO of the American Center for Mobility.

During the hearing, Senators questioned witnesses on the status of automated vehicle technology, the future of the automobile industry, and improvements in automobile safety. Mr. Bozzella, from the Auto Innovators, discussed the Alliance’s recent release of the L2 Driver Monitoring Principles, which set principles for vehicle monitoring systems while implementing assisted driving systems, such as automatic emergency brakes. 

During his testimony, Mr. Bozzella said “a failure to encourage advanced vehicle technologies in the U.S. presents long-term risks to the U.S. economy and its workforce.” He highlighted four key areas that he believes “hold the greatest promise for modernizing and transforming government policies and programs to unlock significant American innovation: supply chain resilience, electrification, vehicle automation, and enhanced safety technology development.” 

The witnesses discussed the importance of automation and the huge potential for increasing safety on our roads and preventing accidents and encouraged the lawmakers to consider regulations allowing vehicle manufacturers to test automated vehicles on our roadways. Additionally, the witnesses stressed the dire necessity for the United States to establish secure and resilient supply chains for electric vehicles and other new vehicle technologies in order to keep up with the international markets. 

The senators and the witnesses all expressed optimism and excitement about the future of the auto industry—Mr. Bozzella went as far as to say that “nations that choose to lead the development and adoption of innovative technologies will potentially shape every aspect of transportation, from supply chains to the global marketplace.” 

To watch the full hearing, click here.

Madi HeadshotMadi Hawkins serves as a Legislative Analyst in the Automotive Service Association’s Washington, D.C. office.  She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University with a major in Public Policy Studies.  Madi is originally from Austin, Texas, where she was born and raised, but now resides in Washington, D.C.