Securing America's Future Energy

SAFE Testimony to Senate Commerce on Driverless Car Rules

SAFE submitted written testimony to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Technology calling for an “Autonomous First” approach to the deployment of driverless cars, rather than a slower, iterative approach. Such a regulatory framework should enable this rapidly evolving technology to deliver the maximum possible energy security and social benefit—significantly reducing America’s dependence on oil while improving road safety and expanding mobility to millions—without the encumbrance posed by overregulation at the state or federal levels.

SAFE modeling indicates that the market environment will strongly favor the adoption of shared, autonomous cars powered by advanced fuels like electricity, promoting fuel diversity in a transportation sector currently dependent on oil for 92 percent of its energy. Modeling also shows that if a driverless future includes significant carsharing, petroleum usage in the transportation sector could decline by 50 percent by 2040, or perhaps even faster given the right mix of technology and regulatory developments.


Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson CC BY 2.0

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