Just a month after its founding, the Coalition for Future Mobility has added three new members to the group that is lobbying Congress and other legislative bodies to help speed up the widespread introduction self-driving vehicles.
With the addition of the American Highway Users Alliance (AHUA), the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), and the Automotive Service Association (ASA), the Coalition is now a 12-strong stakeholder group calling for greater road safety, cleaner air, and enhanced independence and self-sufficiency through the development and deployment of highly automated vehicle (HAV) technologies.
Established in July, the group pushes for the advancement of legislation critical to the USA continuing to be a place of innovation and development for the potentially life-saving technologies. The Coalition comprises the world’s major automotive manufacturers and suppliers, technology and transportation leaders, and representatives of groups advocating for the disabled, seniors and veterans.
The Coalition’s legislative priorities include:
Congress providing clarity concerning appropriate federal and state roles regarding HAVs, particularly any state laws or regulations related to their design or performance;
Congress directing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to initiate rulemaking to update the current vehicle safety standards that do not contemplate HAVs;
Expanding Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard exemptions, in number, duration, and categories, to provide a safe mechanism for deploying HAVs.
The Coalition recently penned an ‘open letter to Congress’ on the importance of legislation that fosters the continued growth of HAVs. The group feels that by adopting a forward-leaning approach to the development and deployment of self-driving vehicle technologies, Congress will send a clear signal that will help foster greater public acceptance, helping to bring a host of social benefits to roads across the country.
The group hopes that Congress will support legislative measures that will optimize the safe testing and deployment of automated vehicles in a technology-neutral manner, while continuing to let innovation thrive.
A statement released by the Coalition said, “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 list of benefits automation can provide touches every angle of personal mobility. According to the US Department of Transportation, 35,092 people died in traffic crashes in 2015, and 94% of all crashes include human error as a factor. HAVs can help address that.”