Securing America's Future Energy

SAFE Comments at California Public Utilities Commission All-Party Meeting on Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service

Contact: Bridget Bartol | 202.461.2361 |

Washington, D.C.—Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) today presented public comment on the proposed decision by the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) authorizing pilot test programs for autonomous vehicle passenger service.

“Early deployments [of AVs] are critical. Decisions we make now will have a lasting impact on how this technology is deployed. The Commission should seize this opportunity to create pathways, not roadblocks, for the future of mobility,” said Greg Rogers, SAFE’s Director of Government Affairs and Mobility Innovation. “We urge the Commission to harmonize roadworthiness regulations with the DMV. The current proposal would require AV passenger services to operate in highly distorted ways. Also, indefinitely prohibiting fare-splitting runs counter to California’s goals of reducing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. Shared AVs can lead to reductions in oil consumption and energy use, decrease emissions, and offer more affordable services that increase equitable access to mobility.”

SAFE continues to work at the state and federal level to advocate for a unified, clear, and modern regulatory framework to enable the safe and expeditious deployment of automated cars and trucks on the nation’s roadways.

SAFE outlined, in its April 2018 filing, the unintended consequences of the Commission’s prosed decision emphasizing potential delays in deployment and creation of barriers to expanding future mobility access. In May 2018 SAFE submitted additional reaction in response to other parties’ responses to the Commission’s proposal.

Currently 92 percent of the U.S. transportation system is powered by oil. AVs are expected to lower fuel consumption by improving vehicle efficiency through improved traffic flow and optimized routing, in addition to improving fuel choice and undermining oil’s monopoly as a transportation fuel by facilitating a shift towards advanced transportation fuels such as electricity and natural gas.

A full transcript of SAFE’s all-party meeting comments can be found here.

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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.

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