WASHINGTON, Aug. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Coalition for Future Mobility – a growing coalition of twelve transportation, passenger safety, and consumer interest stakeholders – today urged the timely and thoughtful passage of federal self-driving vehicle legislation now before Congress. HR 3388, the Self Drive Act, unanimously passed the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee late last month; companion action awaits introduction in the Senate in September.
"This Congress has a tremendous opportunity to accelerate the deployment of automated technologies to save lives, reduce traffic congestion, reduce fuel use and carbon emissions, expand personal mobility and meet our nation's current and future infrastructure, environmental and economic challenges," the group said in a statement.
The coalition continued, "The list of benefits automation can provide touch every angle of personal mobility. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 35,092 people died in traffic crashes in 2015, and 94 percent of all crashes include human error as a factor. Highly Automated Vehicles (HAVs) and related technologies can help address crashes related to human error."
Getting HAV technologies on the road is important to Washingtonians. Consider:
In 2015, a traffic crash occurred in Washington every 4.5 minutes.
An inattentive/distracted driver was involved in a crash every 12 minutes.
One person was injured in a crash every 11 minutes. One was killed every 16 hours.
A pedestrian or bicyclist was involved in a crash every 2.5 hours.
(source: Washington Traffic Safety Commission and Washington State Department of Transportation, 2015 Annual Collision Summary)
The development and deployment of HAVs can greatly improve these statistics as well as promise cleaner air and enhanced independence and self-sufficiency. Federal leadership is critical if the United States is to continue as a place of innovation, development, and ultimately deployment of such vehicle technologies.
With her position on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, Washington Senator Maria Cantwell is in a unique position to help shepherd this bipartisan legislation through the Committee she serves on to bring these potentially life-saving technologies to Washington motorists.
For 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that nearly 14,000 lives were saved due to seat belts, and an additional 2,500 saved by the deployment of front air bags. In the future, we could see NHTSA estimating the thousands of lives saved by HAV technologies.
Members of the Coalition include: The Alliance for Transportation Innovation, the American Highway Users Alliance (AHUA), the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the Auto Alliance, the Automotive Service Association (ASA), Global Automakers, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, the National Cued Speech Association, the National Federation of the Blind, Securing America's Future Energy, Segs4Vets and 60 Plus.