October 04, 2017

Senate Commerce Committee Unanimously Passes Several Duckworth Amendments to Help Make Self-Driving Vehicles Safer, Smarter & More Efficient


[WASHINGTON, DC] - The Senate Commerce Committee today unanimously passed four proposals authored by U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) to help make self-driving vehicles safer and more efficient and improve public understanding of autonomous vehicle technology. Duckworth's amendments were included in the American Vision for Safer Transportation through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act, which will help advance the development of self-driving vehicles and revolutionize transportation in America.

"I'm proud the Senate Commerce Committee unanimously passed my amendments to educate the public about how self-driving vehicles will impact traffic congestion and pollution - and how we can protect against self-driving vehicles being misused," said Senator Duckworth. "These amendments will help pave the way for safer, smarter, more efficient transportation systems in America."

Duckworth's amendments that were included in the AV Start Act would:

· Improve Understanding of Impact of Autonomous Vehicles on Congestion, Pollution & Energy Consumption: Duckworth's amendment would require relevant federal agencies study the possible effects of autonomous vehicle usage on our transportation systems in terms of traffic congestion, pollution reduction and energy consumption. This amendment was co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Brain Schatz (D-HI).

· Educate the Public about Safety of Autonomous Vehicles: Duckworth's amendment would inform the public about critical vehicle safety technologies by directing the Consumer Education Working Group, which this legislation would create, to educate the public through efforts like MyCarDoesWhat.org.

· Expand Participation in Autonomous Vehicle Public Education Efforts: Duckworth's amendment ensures that safety organizations and driver's education organizations are able to participate in the new Consumer Education Working Group.

· Protect Americans from the Misuse of Autonomous Vehicles: Duckworth's amendment expands the scope of the Highly Automated Vehicles Technical Committee - a committee of outside experts appointed by the Department of Transportation which this legislation would create - to evaluate possible methods of safeguarding against misuse of autonomous-vehicle technology, including the use of self-driving vehicles as a weapon.