Washington, D.C. – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) today is calling attention to dangerous state-level legislation that would restrict the development of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology.
“The advent of potentially revolutionary advances in energy security promised by AV technology is being threatened by efforts to erect barriers to competition and predetermine winners and losers. SAFE warns the Safe Autonomous Vehicle Act will serve as an attack on AV innovations that are so crucial to improving the nation’s energy security and economic growth,” remarked SAFE’s President and CEO Robbie Diamond.
The Safe Autonomous Vehicle Act, which has been introduced in Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and other states, would restrict the ability to test AVs only to those companies that manufacture automobiles. It also privileges specific AV ownership and use models, needlessly constraining experimentation with different commercialization strategies.
Diamond continued, “If enacted, the SAVE Act would impose unfair competitive advantages that prevent both well-known technology leaders and emerging innovators from conducting the important testing that is necessary to develop breakthrough technologies. The consequence of the SAVE Act would be to crush competition in this nascent industry at the very moment when it is desperately needed.”
AV technology holds the promise of introducing fuel competition in the transportation sector and dramatically reducing America’s oil dependence. Ninety-two percent of U.S. transportation is powered by oil, a volatile commodity supplied and controlled by countries that do not share U.S. strategic priorities. This singular dependence on oil jeopardizes American economic sovereignty and reorders U.S. foreign policy priorities. The OPEC cartel and National Oil Companies, which hold 90 percent of global reserves, exert undue influence over the global oil market. In contrast to free-market American producers, these companies serve as government entities which take non-market considerations into account in operating decisions, such as social and defense spending.
In addition to the energy security benefits, AVs could significantly reduce the more than 35,000 deaths and two million injuries per year from roadway collisions, while expanding mobility and independence for 57 million Americans with disabilities and a growing senior population.
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
1111 19th Street, NW #406, Washington, DC 20036