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Lipinski Secures Funding to Accelerate the Development and Safe Deployment of Self-Driving Cars (September 7, 2017)

Last night, the House approved an amendment by Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) to provide $9 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to facilitate the development and safe deployment of self-driving vehicles.  The funding will enable the NHTSA to carry out the directives included in the SELF DRIVE Act (H.R. 3388), which passed the House yesterday.  It will help provide the auto industry, consumers, and policymakers with the certainty they need to advance automated vehicle technology and keep America in the lead in this rapidly developing field.  The funding will enable the NHTSA to validate the safety of self-driving cars, define new testing protocols as the technology advances, and partner with industry – along with state and local governments – to conduct oversight of these new vehicles.  The amendment was added to H.R. 3354, the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, 2018.

“The NHTSA will play a key role in fostering adoption of this technology that promises safer roads, decreased energy usage and emissions, less congestion, and expanded mobility, and this new funding is critical to facilitating their work,” said Rep. Lipinski.  “As the co-chairman of the Congressional Unmanned Systems Caucus and an engineer, I have made it a priority on the Transportation and Science Committees to promote policies that will keep America at the forefront of this technology.  Not only can it save lives, help the environment, and cut commute times, but it has the potential to create a manufacturing boom in the country that leads the way in the development of these new vehicles.”

During the 114th Congress, Lipinski authored the Future TRIP Act.  Key provisions of that bill, including the establishment of a regional transportation center to study automated vehicles were later passed into law in a comprehensive transportation bill known as the FAST Act

“Automated vehicles are highly complex, and present a number of equally complex policy considerations,” stated Lipinski.  “While the SELF DRIVE Act is a significant step forward in defining the federal government’s role in this emerging technology, we still have important issues to consider related to insurance, cyber-security, and data sharing.  I look forward to continuing to collaborate with my colleagues to examine this evolving industry and define the federal government’s role in promoting American innovation while also keeping people safe.”