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Department of Transportation Joins Lipinski in Support of Driverless and Connected Vehicle Technologies to Make Roads Safer and Less Congested (January 15, 2016)

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) is applauding the announcement from the U.S. Department of Transportation that it is making the advancement of driverless and connected vehicle technology a priority. As a member of both the Science, Space, and Technology Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Lipinski has been the leader in Congress in promoting the research, development, and deployment of connected and driverless vehicle technology as quickly and safely as possible. 

In the surface transportation bill that was signed into law at the end of last year, Lipinski was able to add language which would help establish a connected and driverless vehicle university research center that encourages future innovation of these technologies, require a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office on the readiness of the Department of Transportation for connected vehicles, and set up an interagency working group to coordinate research, technology commercialization, and workforce development.  These provisions – which came from Lipinski’s Future TRIP Act – will speed the development and deployment of connected and driverless vehicles, which will improve safety, save fuel, and reduce congestion on our roads.

“Driverless and connected vehicle technologies are arriving on the market at a rapid rate,” said Rep. Lipinski.  “However, there is much work that needs to be done, both on the automotive side and in the infrastructure that will support driverless and connected vehicles on roads and in cities, before these technologies can be fully deployed.  The U.S. is arriving at a crossroads on connected vehicle technologies, and our decisions now will have huge ramifications on the future of transportation and American economic competitiveness.  We must do all we can to ensure the safety and security of the American people, both from collisions and cyber-threats.  It is a good sign that the Department of Transportation recognizes and supports this critical endeavor.”

Every year, more than 30,000 Americans die in automotive accidents.  Connected and driverless vehicles could improve on this number dramatically.  For example, the increased use of sensors on the front and rear of vehicles could allow cars to effectively “look around corners” and avert collisions due to drivers’ blind spots.