Senate Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on Auto Innovation

This week, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a field hearing on “Driving Automotive Innovation and Federal Policies.” Chairman John Thune gave the opening statement, stating that automated vehicles and new business models, driven by technological advancements, are “poised to enable substantial growth.” Chairman Thune pointed to various benefits of these developments, including safety, new jobs, reduced traffic congestion, and increased mobility for disabled and elderly Americans. Chairman Thune also recognized the economic impact of automotive innovation, citing one estimate that automated vehicles will spur a “passenger economy” worth seven trillion dollars over the next few decades. In addition, the hearing covered the AV START Act, introduced by Chairman Thune and Senator Peters, which aims to remove barriers to innovation, prioritize safety through increased reporting and oversight, and level the playing field for competing companies.

Witnesses at the hearing included Luke Schneider, President of Audi Mobility US; Mike Mansuetti, President of Robert Bosch North America; Tim Kently-Kay, CEO and Co-founder of Zoox, Inc.; and Dr. Randy Avent, President of Florida Polytechnic University.

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