Sep 24, 2018

Legislation to Drive our Future

Post by Freedom Partners

No longer just a plot in science fiction movies, self-driving cars will soon make their way on to our streets. There is still a long road ahead before driverless cars become common place, but it is important our government doesn’t impose barriers to innovation that put the brakes on this life-saving technology.

While vehicle safety has improved over the years, 90 percent of car crashes are caused by human error. Last year alone, 40,000 people died as a result of automobile accidents.

This is where self-driving cars would make a difference. The technology reduces human error and has the potential to save countless American lives in the years to come.

But it isn’t just about saving lives. Autonomous vehicles have the potential to spur massive economic growth in America. Enabling access to self-driving cars ensures we don’t fall behind the rest of the world.

As Congressman Robert Latta (R-Ohio), chairman of the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee recently explained, the U.S. is beginning to fall dangerously behind in autonomous vehicle standards and policies, while nations like China and in Europe leap ahead.

Self-driving cars also have the potential to drastically improve quality of life for countless Americans. This technology would offer groundbreaking mobility and independence for the elderly and individuals with disabilities. By providing efficient and safe transportation to and from work, medical appointments, the grocery store, and more, self-driving cars would provide these individuals opportunities to thrive.

This technology shows enormous promise for society, which is why Freedom Partners supports the SELF Drive Act, a bill that takes a desperately needed step towards clarifying the state and federal role in autonomous vehicle laws. This legislation will both protect consumer safety and help jump-start what shows promise to be an exploding industry in the near future.

It isn’t the only bill Congress could pass to bring self-driving cars to our roads in the near future. The AV START Act, the Senate companion the SELF Drive Act, would establish the first clear nationwide regulatory standards for these vehicles.

A heavy-handed government approach to regulating driverless cars will obstruct the development of life-saving technology and prevent America from dominating an emerging industry. Safety parameters should be in place, and time should be taken to ensure these vehicles will keep people safe. But we shouldn’t fall behind while the rest of the world takes a giant step forward.

When it comes to self-driving cars, we must make room for innovators to do what they do best. Innovate.