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Tuesday, 30 June 2015 21:43

U.S. House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Connected Cars

On June 24, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade under the Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing entitled, “Vehicle to Vehicle Communications and Connected Roadways of the Future.”

During the hearing, members addressed issues associated with emerging telematics, vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V), and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication (V2I).

The witness panel featured leaders in vehicle technology development including Nathaniel Beuse, associate administrator of Vehicle Safety Research for the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), and Dr. Peter Sweatman, director of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Witness testimony focused on the lifesaving potential of V2V technologies, national and international standards, future congressional rulemaking, and the timeline for implementation. Beuse will make a presentation at the Automotive Service Association’s NACE|CARS Show in Detroit on July 23.

Panelist Harry Lightsey, executive director, Global Connected Customer Experience for General Motors LLC, said, “NHTSA has estimated that V2V could by itself impact more than 80 percent of the over four million annual unimpaired light vehicle crashes, saving lives and reducing $871 billion in costs to our nation’s economy each year … V2V’s effectiveness depends on it being deployed across all vehicle makes and models…We are aware and are encouraged that many other automakers have plans to deploy V2V technology in the near future.”

Subcommittee members expressed optimism about the benefits of V2V technologies, but remained wary of potential threats from hacking, connectivity lapses, and modified driver behavior. Rep. Frank Pallone, ranking member, D-N.J., stated his concerns in his opening statement; “While the progress and potential of this technology are clear, we in Congress must continue to ensure proper oversight as NHTSA moves aggressively toward its goal of finalizing its V2V rulemaking by the end of this year. While pushing for V2V-enabled cars, NHTSA must also ensure drivers have the most beneficial crash avoidance and crashworthiness technologies in all cars, not just those supported by V2V communications.”

At the conclusion of the hearing, members expressed their intent to follow this issue closely, with special attention to NHTSA’s rulemaking process. NHTSA is currently working to deliver a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on V2V communications by 2016.

For additional information about ASA, including past media releases, go to www.ASAshop.org, or visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com

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