Securing America's Future Energy

SAFE Launches Commission on Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Safety

Leslie Hayward
Leading experts to publish best practice recommendations on autonomous vehicle testing and early deployment that protects the public interest

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) today announced the creation of a Commission on Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Safety, a project of the organization’s Autonomous Vehicles Task Force.

On-road testing of autonomous vehicles is essential to the expeditious development of autonomous technology, but public trust in the process is imperative. The Commission will study and recommend best practices for industry and other parties for testing and early deployment of autonomous vehicles in real-world conditions.

The transportation system in its current form exerts an inexorable toll on society in the form of both oil dependence and traffic fatalities—these costs will be amplified by excessive delay over safety concerns. Although there will be incidents while autonomous technology is perfected, the current 35,000 lives lost and over 2 million people injured every year on American roads reveal the scope of the current problem. Experts believe up to 90 percent of crashes will be eliminated by autonomous technology, but recent polling has shown that the general public remains skeptical of these benefits, with only 35 percent of Americans aware that autonomous vehicles will save lives—reinforcing the need for the Commission’s work.

Members of the Commission will convene over the course of the coming months, combining decades of experience in public safety and vehicle technology in their investigation. Once the group has completed its research, it will publish its findings for industry and regulators on best safety practices.

The members of the Commission are as follows:

  • Mark Rosenker (Commission Chairman), former Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board
  • Admiral Dennis Blair, Former Director of National Intelligence and member of SAFE’s Energy Security Leadership Council
  • Paul Brubaker, Chairman of the Alliance for Transportation Innovation and former Administrator of the DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration
  • Bob Lange, former top safety executive at General Motors Corporation
  • Cuneyt Oge, President of SAE International

“The reality of autonomous vehicles is upon us. Along with this exciting new innovation, however, there are many critical questions which need to be answered while these vehicles are being tested and deployed on open roads,” said Mark Rosenker, Chairman of the Commission.

“The rapid advancement of autonomous vehicle technology is steering us into unchartered territory,” said Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of Securing America’s Future Energy. “The Commission on Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Safety offers the kind of leadership we need to ensure the public that these cars are being tested safely on public roads, and potentially improve the process. We must also strive, while protecting the public safety, to prevent the implementation of onerous regulations that will stymie innovation. I thank these uniquely talented and experienced individuals for committing their time and energy to this important public service, and we look forward to sharing their findings with stakeholders in the near future.”

About Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE)

Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is a nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil in order to bolster national security and strengthen the economy. SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in fuel efficiency, and in the long-term, breaking oil’s stranglehold on the transportation sector through alternatives like natural gas for heavy-duty trucks and plug-in electric vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil. Today, the ESLC is co-chaired by Frederick W. Smith and General James T. Conway, 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.



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