Washington, D.C.—Following the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to revisit vehicle efficiency standards for model years 2022 – 2025, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) released an analysis finding that 18 – 25 percent system-wide fuel economy savings could be realized by using existing driver assist and autonomous vehicle technologies while saving thousands of lives. The report proposes a program that would encourage automakers through the off-cycle credit program to deploy several of these technologies in exchange for real world data that can determine the long-term potential to save lives, increase system-wide fuel efficiency, and reduce emissions.
“The transportation sector is undergoing one of its most profound transformations in history, and SAFE believes the deployment of advanced vehicle technologies will save lives and fuel,” said Robbie Diamond, SAFE’s President and CEO. “By leveraging the off-cycle credit program, this proposal will provide a platform for incorporating and testing a full suite of advanced vehicle technologies. The upside potential is so great to society that it is worth seizing this opportunity. This technology revolution offers the Trump Administration and California one pathway to find agreement on a strong long-term standard while offering flexibility to the auto industry to achieve it.”
The report, Using Fuel Efficiency Regulations to Conserve Fuel and Save Lives by Accelerating Industry Investment in Autonomous and Connected Vehicles, explores the EPA’s off-cycle credit program as a potential mechanism to carry out this initiative. As part of the program, automakers could earn compliance credits for a set timeframe of three to five years, in exchange for deploying the selected technologies widely and sharing the data collected about the technologies’ performance with regulators. Should the technology be proven to improve efficiency, lower emissions, and increased safety, regulators would have the data necessary to account for these technologies in future compliance periods.
In addition to significant fuel savings, SAFE’s analysis also includes findings that existing crash avoidance technologies could prevent an estimated 9,900 fatalities.
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