Washington, D.C.—In a letter submitted to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce hearing, “Promises and Perils: The Potential of Automobile Technologies,” SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond calls on Congress to allow autonomous vehicle (AV) deployment to fully realize the considerable economic and societal benefits of AV technology.
In the letter, he states, “I would impress upon the committee the benefits that AVs could potentially deliver to the economically disadvantaged and disability communities, and the massive public benefits from accident reduction and congestion mitigation. Congress should act to ensure AVs are tested in a safe and responsible manner, while allowing the technology to flourish.”
The letter draws upon extensive SAFE scholarship and analysis of AVs. In 2017, a white paper from SAFE and the Ruderman Family Foundation found that widespread AV deployment could open up 2 million job opportunities for disabled Americans, and save $19 billion in annual healthcare expenditures.
In 2018, America’s Workforce and the Self-Driving Future found that widespread AV deployment would create almost $800 billion in annual benefits by 2050 through reduced traffic accidents, congestion mitigation and decreased oil consumption, among other benefits. Moreover, the analysis also found that deployment would have a measured, manageable impact on the U.S. workforce.
In July 2020, SAFE analysis also found that on-demand, point-to-point AV transportation also holds significant potential to open up wider economic opportunities currently beyond the reach of many low-income households due to systemic gaps in current transit systems and the high cost of personal vehicle ownership. In addition, the paper found the most conservative cost-per-mile estimate for an autonomous, shared and electric car in 2030 to be 50 cents. In contrast, the cost per mile for buses today is $1.31.
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SAFE enhances the nation’s energy security and supports our economic resurgence and resiliency, by advancing transformative transportation and mobility technologies and ensuring that the United States secures key aspects of the technology supply chain to achieve and maintain our strategic advantage.
In partnership with the Electrification Coalition, SAFE’s sister organization, we work with consumers, businesses, and policymakers, to launch award-winning “real-world” programs and enable the needed polices to accelerate transportation electrification around the country to reduce our Nation’s dependence on oil.