Washington, D.C.—The Department of Transportation today released the Trump administration’s third major document relating to AV policy, Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies: Automated Vehicles 4.0 (“AV 4.0”). AV 4.0 provides a full overview of the range of activities that the entire U.S. government is undertaking to prepare for automated vehicles (AVs). The document catalogs the efforts of 38 federal agencies to support the safe and expeditious deployment of AVs through research and development activities, preparations to adjust regulatory frameworks, and interagency collaborations.
“AVs hold tremendous potential for reducing America’s oil dependence through facilitating a transition to electric powertrains while also improving accessibility for our nation’s disabled and seniors, and SAFE applauds the administration’s attention to the promise AVs hold to enhance mobility access for people with disabilities. We commend the U.S. Department of Transportation and the leadership of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in advancing this federal government-wide initiative,” said Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE).
A white paper commissioned by the Ruderman Family Foundation and SAFE found in 2017 that approximately one in every five Americans has a disability—including more than 3.8 million veterans with disabilities. The report also concluded that 2 million employment opportunities could be opened up and $19 billion in annual healthcare expenditures could be saved if people with disabilities had access to the basic transportation needs that could be provided by AVs.
AV 4.0 also references a separate SAFE report, America’s Workforce and the Self-Driving Future, which filled prior gaps in research on the potential social and economic benefits of AVs. The report recommended that the federal government should undertake research activities to better understand and prepare for the impacts of AVs on the workforce and the economy writ-large.
“It’s critical that the U.S. government continues this effort to maintain global leadership in transportation technologies and prepare our workforce to capitalize on the coming technological revolution in the transportation sector,” Diamond stated. “AV 4.0 highlights just how important it is for the federal government to enable innovation and reduce barriers to new technologies. This is another step toward developing a transportation system that is safer, more efficient, and accessible for all.”
About Securing America’s Future Energy
Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Near-total dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector undermines the nation’s economic and national security, and constrains U.S. foreign policy. To combat these threats, SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and transportation sector innovations including electric vehicles, natural gas trucks, and autonomous 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 (Ret), 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.