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GAO Releases Autonomous Vehicle Report Requested by Rep. Lipinski (December 4, 2017)

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3), a leader on federal driverless vehicle policy, is announcing that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report that he requested examining the readiness of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to regulate and oversee the deployment of connected and automated vehicles.  The report finds that rapidly advancing technology may pose challenges to the DOT as they work to ensure vehicle safety, adapt to changing infrastructure needs, and protect consumers’ data.

“Autonomous vehicle technology is transforming our roads, making them safer and more efficient,” said Rep. Lipinski.  “As this technology evolves and improvements continue, the federal government must do all it can to ensure safety, while also enabling innovators to continue developing and deploying these vehicles.  This means we will need to revisit existing standards and processes, and in order to do that, we must have the DOT nimble enough to meet the demands of this rapidly changing industry.
  
“I look forward to continuing to collaborate with the hardworking professionals at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to provide them with the resources they need to adequately respond to a changing mobility paradigm,” continued Lipinski.  “This important GAO report, which I requested in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, will help guide Congress and the DOT’s policymaking efforts as we work to maintain U.S. leadership on autonomous vehicles.”
 
During consideration of the Fiscal Year 2018 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill, Lipinski successfully included an amendment that will provide the NHTSA with an additional $9 million for salaries and expenses to expand its workforce, define new testing protocols, and partner with industry.
 
“The GAO found that the DOT competes with high-paying tech firms to acquire new talent,” stated Lipinski.  “The language I included in the THUD bill is intended to make the agency more competitive in recruiting a talented workforce to meet future needs.  In this rapidly changing industry, our government can’t afford to fall behind bold innovation.”