tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN March 15, 2016 3:00pm-5:01pm EDT
>> thank you, mr. devoss. mr. apaku. >> chairman thune, ranking member nelson, and members of the committee, good afternoon. i am the vice president of government relations for lyft. thank you for the opportunity to testify today on this very exciting and important topic. my fellow panelists represent all the components required for the successful deployment of autonomous vehicles. you have the auto manufacturers with the expertise in designing and building autonomous vehicles. you have the parts manufacturers whose products will be vital to making these cars run. you have the best engineering minds in the world who have made it possible for these cars to be safer than human drivers. and you have lyft, a company perfectly suited to bring this technology to cities and consumers all across the country. there are at least two other equally important components that will determine the future of autonomous vehicles. the first is the interaction of
everyday people with these new vehicles. the second is the much more unpredictable interface of the government with this entirely new transportation resource. lyft has unique experience in these two areas, and this is where i'll focus my testimony. lyft launched four years ago as the first digital platform that uses a smartphone to allow people to give other people a ride in their personal vehicle. lyft's goal was to encourage people to give up their own vehicles and instead use the empty seats in a neighbor's car. in order to accomplish this we knew that certain critical factors needed to be addressed. first, it had to be safe. extensive background checks for drivers were a must followed by unprecedented transparency and accountability for everyone involved in the ride. innovations that include realtime consumer feedback, all digital receipts with the driver route and driver picture are a key part of the reason for the rapid adoption of lyft. it's also why 30% of our drivers
and the majority of riders are women. second, the service had to be efficient for drivers to participate. it is easy for a driver to apply to drive on the platform. they can initiate the process from their smartphone. but difficult for them to qualify. third, for consumers, we knew that a vehicle had to arrive within minutes of pressing a button for it to feel like a good alternative to grabbing your own keys and driving your own car. in a few short years, these key principles have enabled an entirely new transportation industry to evolve out of preexisting and largely idle resources. by any measure, it is remarkable, and it wouldn't have happened if it wasn't safe, affordable, and convenient. this rapid evolution of the transportation industry has clearly demandonstrated that consumers are inincreasingly willing to give up their vehicles and instead have a
vehicle appear at the push of a button. this underscores a shift of consumer priorities. in 1983, 46% of 16-year-olds obtained a driver's license. in 2014, this figure dropped to 24%. that's a 50% change in something that i was 100% certain that i wanted more than anything else when i was 16 years old. something very real and fundamental is shifting here. we are on the doorstep of another evolutionary leap in transportation and technology, where concepts that could once only be imagined in science fiction are on the verge of becoming reality. autonomous vehicles can bring enormous benefits in road safety, congestion, and public spending on parking structures, just to name a few. the fastest way to bring these benefits of autonomous vehicles to consumers is via a ride sharing network like lyft's. to be sure, there are very serious challenges to be faced
in bringing the full value of autonomous vehicles to market for mass consumption. and the greatest potential object skakel is constrictive regulation and legislation. the first would be scenario for the growth of autonomous vehicles is an inconsistent and conflicting patchwork of local, municipal pal, and county laws that will hamper efforts to bring autonomous vehicle technology to market. regulations are necessary. but regulatory restraint and consistency is equally as important if we are going to allow this industry to reach its full potential. this is an area where lyft has vast experience and has learned very valuable lessons. three years ago, only one state had issued a regulatory framework for the ride sharing industry. today, 30 states have enacted legislation for this industry with another bill currently sitting on the governor's desk awaiting signature. this is the experience that lyft brings to the table as we embark upon the mission of providing autonomous vehicles to the public. with the help of this body, a
dedicated effort to tackle hard questions, and a commitment to ensure that regulation doesn't inhibit innovation, we can succeed. we look forward to working with this committee to ensure that autonomous vehicles can arrive safely and efficiently on america's roads. i thank the committee for holding this hearing and for working towards this common goal. i'm happy to answer any questions that you might have. thank you. >> thank you. dr. cummings. thank you. thank you for having me back. good afternoon, chairman thune, changing member nelson, and distinguished members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to discuss issues about the future of self driving cars. i am the director of the duke robotics program and duke university's self autonomy laboratory, which focuses on sociotechnical systems. i have conducted driving research and provided future technology recommendations to automotive manufacturers for more than a dozen years,
including ford, nissan, toyota, google x, thanks, chris. i was the program manager for a navy helicopter that carries the same sets of sensors you'll see on autonomous cars today. i'm currently conducting research for the national science foundation on the interaction of self driving cars and pedestrians. while i enthusiastically support the development of self driving cars, i'm less enthusiastic about products that i don't feel are ready for deployment. the first is operations in bad weather, including standing water on roadways, drizzling rain, sudden downpours, and snow. coupling these limitations with the inability of self driving cars to follow a traffic policeman's gestures means that self driving cars should not really be operating near elementary schools at this time. another major problem with self driving cars is their
vulnerability to malhe ha he ma even pranking attempts. it is feasible that people could commandeer self driving vehicles to do their bidding, which could be malicious or just for the thrill of it. while such hacking represents a worst case scenario, there are other potentially disruptive problems to be considered. it is not uncommon for people to drive with gps jammers in the back of their trunks to make sure people don't know where they are, which could be very disruptive to the system. a $60 laser device can trick self driving cars into sensing obtains th objects that are not there. moreover, we know that people will try to elicit or prevent various behaviors in attempts to get ahead of the cars or simply to have fun. lastly, privacy is also going to be a major point of contention.
these cars carry cameras that look both in and outside the car and will transmit these images and telemetry data in realtime including where you are going and your driving habits. who has access to this data, whether it is secure, and whether it can be used for other commercial or government purposes has yet to be addressed. given that these and other issues need to be addressed before widespread deployment of these cars takes place, but understanding very much that there are clear potential economic and safety benefits, how can we get there? in my opinion there is no leadership that should be provided by nhtsa. google x, chris just told you, has advertised that its cars have driven 1.4 million miles. i applaud this achievement. but new york taxicabs drive 1.4 million miles in just a little over a day. this assertion is indicative of a larger problem in robotics. in self driving cars and in drones, and we've discussed
before, where demonstrations are substituted for principal testing. rand says 275 million miles must be driven fatality-free. that means we need a significantly accelerated self driving testing program. but it is not simply good enough to let these cars operate in california or southern texas to accrue miles. nhtsa needs to provide leadership for a testing program that ensures that self driving cars are rigorously tested for what engineers call the corner cases, which are extreme conditions in which these cars will operate. we know that many of the sensors on self driving cars are not reliable in bad weather, in urban canyons or where map databases are out of date. we know gesture recognition is a problem. we know humans will get in the back seat while they think their cars are on auto pilot. we know people will try to hack into these systems. given self driving cars' heavy dependence on probabilistic reasoning, there are many unknowns these systems will
encounter. there are also many known knowns in self driving cars that we are aware of that are not being openly tested that would be expected in similar transportation settings. for example, the faa has clear certification processes for aircraft software and we would never let commercial aircraft executed landings without verifiable evidence approved by the faa. however this will not be possible for cars until manufacturer provide greater transparency and disclose how they are designing their cars. let me reiterate as a professor in the field of robotics and human interaction, i am wholeheartedly in support of the research and development of self driving cars. but these systems will not be ready for fielding until we move away from demonstrations to transparency and evidence-based testing including human autonomous system interaction and sensor and system
vulnerabilities. >> thank you, dr. cummings. if you want to turn to the monitor there, this is something that i think -- >> today, you guys will be some of the first people outside of our team and outside of google to ever drive in it. >> there it is. >> here we go. >> let's go. >> there's no steering wheel. >> it's real cool. it was like a space age experience. >> you don't have to do nothing. it knows when to stop. it knows when it can go. >> what she really liked was that it slowed down before it went around a curve, and then accelerated into the curve. she's always trying to get me to do it that way. >> that's the way i learned in high school driver's ed.
>> i can spend more time hanging out with my kids, helping them with their homework. >> our lives are made up of a lot of little things. most of those things have to do with getting people from place to place. there's a big part of my life that's missing. and there's a big part of my life that a self driving vehicle would bring back to me. >> i love this. >> in 2015, delphi's car drove itself across the country, from coast to coast. now, 50 terabytes later, we're applying all that we've learned to the next step. this year at c.e.s. in las vegas, delphi's car talked to everything. to the street signs and the traffic lights, to the cars all around us, to the guy who was crossing the street on foot or
on bike, to the nearby mcdonald's or that starbucks that's up ahead on the left. why? to make it safer for all of us. >> delphi drive available. >> consumer-based adoption of active safety technology could save approximately 11,000 lives annually. >> last year we took a lot of safety technologies on the road today and some that we think will be on the road the next couple of years, radar, vision, but also now we equip the car to talk to a variety of information sources. vehicle to vehicle, vehicle to stop lights, vehicle to pedestrians, for example. and we call that vehicle to everything. so you're able to take information from a lot of different sources on top of all the sensors that you have on the car and help complete the scenario better for decisionmaking for safety
purposes, and improve the consumer experience in the cockpit. >> the car is letting us know everything it sees immediately. i see green. or i'm seeing this, i'm turning now. so that the idea of safety and confidence, we want you as a passenger to feel comfortable in the car. >> delphi drive ending in 1,000 feet. prepare to take over. >> great. well, thank you again, all of you, for being here, for sharing your thoughts on this shouldn't. we'll get into some rounds of questions now. and i wanted to start by just asking kind of a general one, because i think we're talking about something that often was that you have as very futuristic. there are manufacturers who expect that these cars are going to be on the market in just a few years. all of you have different roles in this area. but when do you think these
types of cars will be ready and available in the marketplace? i'll just open that up to the panel, if anybody would like to respond to that. what's the time frame we're talking about? >> from gm's perspective, the way we envision introducing this technology into use in the public is through the idea of a ride sharing fleet. we think this gives access to a wide part of the public, including underserved communities. we would introduce it originally as vehicles with drivers, because we do agree we need to collect data and make sure that the systems are operating as we expect them to before we actually start deploying the vehicles without drivers. we think this offers a framework that we can develop and deploy this technology in a very safe way. to your question on timing, we would expect the vehicles with drivers to appear within the
next couple of years. when they actually start working without drivers will depend on how the technology develops and what the criteria developed with regulators are. >> mr. apaku, how does that bear on the timing question? >> sure, chairman thune, thank you for the question. i think the starting point for the answer is our experience in the explosion of the ride sharing industry. a few short years ago, as i mentioned in my testimony, the idea of getting into a stranger's car was something unheard of, something your mother warned you against. yet through the safety innovations that lyft implemented, we got comfortable with the idea of riding in a stranger's car, in a scaleable rate that allowed us to expand to nearly 200 different cities in less than four years. it's this ability not only to
use innovation to enhance the customer experience, to ensure safety, but to reach a mass audience that we think we will be using to ensure the quick deployment of autonomous vehicles to the community at large. we have the ability to reach a nationwide audience very quickly with our technology, and frankly, given the cost that will most likely be involved with the first iterations of autonomous vehicles, this will be the most cost effective way of getting it to the public as well. so this is the role that lyft envisions for itself as part of this process. >> if i could get some of you to react to some of the concerns raised by dr. cummings. we raised weather, accuracy of tests and that sort of thing. you talk about the vehicles not performing as well under those types of circumstances. those of you involved in the development and testing of those
things, how do you respond to some of those concerns? >> i think the first thing to know is when we're talking about self driving cars, we're talking about multiple types of sensors, radar, v to v, v to x. each of those technologies has strengths or weaknesses. vision may be compromised by weather but radar is very strong in weather. similarly with other conditions. so the key is by having a multi-sensor approach, you expand your range of coverage and your performance envelope. it's absolutely true, sensors have strengths and weaknesses, but by combining those sensors, you end up with a much more capable package, certainly a better capability than any driver relying on vision alone. >> in response to a google inquiry, nhtsa has said that some federal motor safety or vehicle safety standards will require additional rulemaking in order to allow for google self
driving car features. are you concerned that google's ability to continue to develop and deploy these technologies will be impeded by nhtsa's need to update its rules through what could be a very lengthy rule-making process? >> chairman thune, that's a really i think important question, because many of the companies at the table here have been involved in developing this technology, and america is currently in very much a leadership position in this space. that said, we look at what's happening in health insurance company, we look at what's happening in china and japan, and they're hot on our heels. in fact not a day goes by when a company particularly from china is trying to recruit engineers from our team and poach talent. from our perspective, this technology is advancing at an incredible rate. we need to see the safety benefits. we need to see the mobility and access benefits. we need to see the economic benefits in america first. and by finding a way to give nhtsa an approval process that
would allow them to expedite in a very safe way innovative technologies, transportation, that allows us to continue it in the united states. >> nhtsa recently determined that google's self driving system could be interpreted as the driver for purposes of nhtsa rules. conversely, the california dmv is proposing requiring a licensed operator to be present in an autonomous vehicle. how will the concept of driver change with the deployment of self driving cars and how should we resolve potential conflicts such as the one i just mentioned? >> to the point in the technology, without the driver at some point you need to designate the vehicle can operate without a driver. i think the nhtsa determination, in order to encourage the rollout of this technology, is entirely appropriate. as far as working with the states, we at general motors will continue to work with the
various states to try and craft legislation, understanding the complementary roles that the federal government and the states play in this area. >> do you see the federal role in all of this in terms of the where the government plays have been i should say having a role in ensure that there is a nationwide market? does the federal government have a role in this? >> so what obviously would be an issue for any of us working in this area is if we end up with the states, with a widely-varied patchwork of regulation that's inconsistent from state to state. obviously we all, when we developed these vehicles, we didn't envision them crossing state lines. so we absolutely need and support nhtsa's initiative to give guidance to the states on legislation in this area and look forward to that initiative in helping us work with the states. >> time's up. senator nelson.
>> we do a lot of neat things to protect the national security. cyber attacks, worms, gps jamming, et cetera, dr. cummings. what are we going to do to protect this technology? >> i think that this problem of cyber physical security is not just unique to drones. it's certainly present in all transportation industries. and so i think that there are many lessons to be learned, certainly the military is working on some technologies that are helping. there are a lot of companies getting into the anti-drone community that are bringing new technologies to bear. so i think it's a maturity of the industry that we're going to have to see. and it's going to be a multidimensional solution. it's not going to be easy. but i'm hoping that my peers here at the table, and i'm sure that they will, we're just going
to have to start having dedicated focus in these areas instead of just leaving it up to the military, for example, to develop. >> let's interesting that you mention drones, because tomorrow in this committee we're going to mark up the faa by me. and one of the things that we're concerned about is you put the drone in the flight path of either an inbound or an outbound airliner, and if it gets sucked into the jet engine, that's a catastrophic failure. there are technologies that have already deny demonstrated to the chairman and me of taking over that drone. and that is available. and sooner or later we're probably going to have to deploy that in the vicinity of airports. so what is the protection for the autonomous vehicle that these kind of technologies -- you saw the "60 minutes"
program, where they completely take over the car. that's the answer? anybody? >> from gm's standpoint, we think cybersecurity is obviously an important issue in this area. and it's something that we've spent time thinking about. we have more 4g lte data connected vehicles on the road by far than any other oem. we started an in-house cybersecurity organization. it's the first one and the only one as far as we know in the industry. inside of that cybersecurity organization, we use a technique, learn from other industries, employing a red team that goes in and actively tries to identify vulnerabilities in our systems. the person in charge of the cybersecurity program reports to the board on these matters. that senior executive also happens to be the vice chairman
of the auto isak committee that was set up to chair information amongst oems in the industry on vulnerabili vulnerabilities. that committee we believe has been very effective. >> so you think that there are going to be the capability of protecting against this, even without it being extremely, extremely expensive. let me flip, now. what about privacy? what about privacy? let me get to somebody, mr. opaku. >> yes, senator nelson, thank you very much. lyft, as i mentioned in my testimony, has to be a safe platform for it to work. and part of that safety is ensuring the privacy of its users and its drivers. it's something we have been 100% committed to as we launched. it's something we devoted a lot of resources to because we know our platform involves a lot of people across the country.
we have an internal team that is constantly reviewing our privacy policies. approximately one fifth of our overall team constitutes engineers. and a similar number of people who are dedicated to trust and safety. so this demonstrates how we respect the privacy of our users. >> what you're saying is that technology will allow you to protect the privacy of people even in an autonomous vehicle and all the gadgets in it? >> senator nelson, i think technology is the means that will use it. i think it first starts with a commitment and dedication to ensuring it. i think that's the point i'm trying to make here. it's part of the reason why we wanted to partner with a company like general motors because we knew their commitment to ensuring the deployment of autonomous vehicles had to be done in a way that was safe and protected, not only the safety
but the privacy of people relying on our services. it's something we've had experience with over the last three or four years, growing from a company that serviced just one state back in 2012 to a company that services nearly 200 cities now. >> maybe you ought to confer with apple, since apple seems to be pretty good on its privacy, being able to get into the iphone of the terrorists. anybody, is the federal government's agency, nhtsa, is it prepared to deal with all this? >> i don't think it's just the responsibility of nhtsa or any one particular part. it really will take a collaborative effort between industry, the technology developers, as well as the regulatory agencies. it really is important as we talk about isaks and those initiatives, where we're working together to promote standardization and a uniform approach but also to do so in an
effective regulatory framework. the key message for us is it has to be a collaborative activity in order for it to be truly effective. >> thank you, senator nelson. senator heller? >> thank you, mr. chairman, for your leadership on this issue. i'm disappointed i didn't get a chance to see one of the cars earlier this morning. i would have really enjoyed that. by the way, thank you for being here and for your expertise in this particular area. the chairman asked the question that everybody was asking, that's when are these things -- when will this be available. i guess the next question is, is it integrated into the current car that you own or do you have to actually buy an autonomous vehicle in order to use one of these things? >> so we believe very strongly that for some of the cybersecurity reasons that were cited, we need to design a
vehicle with this in mind and look at its entire electrical and information system to make sure we can get the highest level of protection into the vehicle. so we believe going forward, you're going to buy vehicles that may look similar to vehicles on the road, but inside we'll have designed in the cyberprotection and the redundancy that autonomous vehicles need to operate safely. >> so it would be a new car? >> yes. it would be a new car. and i think that's one of the great advantages in applying this ride sharing model, is that we can let members of the public experience the technology without having to go out and buy a new car. some of the questions about adoption and how people will react to this technology, i think we can see with real human beings in real settings, again, without them having to spend money on buying a new vehicle. >> what would you appear the price range to me? >> like any technology, the autonomous technologies are
going to be very extensive when we start, because you need some pretty sophisticated computing power on board to make it work. it's hard for me to predict what they're going to cost, because as with any new technology, much depends on how quickly we can build scale and deploy in volume. again, as mr. opaku explained in his testimony, we think this ride sharing model lets us move forward in volume even at a relatively high finiinitial cos the vehicle. >> do you anticipate using electric engines or combustion engines? >> we think it's very interesting to use this with electric engines. obviously in the ride sharing model, we would be operating in rural environments where everybody is interested in reducing pollution and the environmental impacts of the automobile. >> thank you. i think nevada was the first to issue a -- in the u.s. to issue
a license for testing of the vehicles for google. i notice on the screen that that most of those shots were the las vegas strip or near to it. very good. it's my understanding you were also very involved with the testing. is this accurate, for the -- working directly with the department of motor vehicles in nevada? >> yes, senator, that's correct. >> what was the extent of your spur in testing? >> so the state of nevada wanted to be a letterader in this spacd pass legislation instructing their department of motorcycle vehicles that would create language that would be a first in the had nation kind of rule set for self driving vehicles. >> how important was that? >> i think it definitely placed a line in the sand, i guess,
around how important this technology was, and kind brought it to national attention. at the same time, i think that it kicked off something that i think many of us are worried about with this potential patchwork of state by state regulations that would potentially lead to a challenge in delivering the technology broadly. >> also based on what dr. cummings said, you had a vehicle at c.e.s., if i'm not mistaken. and i understand you had an unexpected obstruction there. can you explain to us what that unexpected obstruction was. >> sure. and one of the reasons we really enjoyed testing in las vegas is it does provide a lot of diversity of use cases in a really changillenging environme including some of the pedestrians there in that environment who may have either been intoxicated or maybe a little bit unpredictable in
terms of where they're going on the roadways. as we were driving around downtown vegas a, on a fairly regular basis we had pedestrians coming into the path of the vehicle. the vehicle, of course seeing them accurately and taking the precautionary measures of down and, you know, it's a lot of pedestrian traffic in vegas, so we're at all different points of the vehicle. it really highlighted to us that the sensors looked all the way around, 360 around that car at all times. and so the car sees much, much better than we as a human driver would actually see. it never failed to find the person and avoid them. >> i understand that one did step out in front of you and it avoided that individual. >> it did. >> thank you very much. >> your home state in that city would be a good test case for a lot of things. >> it certainly was. >> i have senator booker up
next. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. so one of the big concerns i've had since coming to washington is that our global economy is being fueled more and more by innovation. and america is by far the global exporter of ingenuity. the problem i'm seeing more and more in washington is we're not creating a regulatory regime and environment that spurs innovation and keeps us competitive. i've seen this in fda, inhibiting companies like 23 and me, and the faa, with drone technology that's now being innovated upon more outside our country than inside the country. this is definitely one of those areas where i feel the same significant amount of concern. my goal obviously principally is safety. but in this time of great research, innovation, and development, it's difficult for me to hear companies say, like
audi, say, you know, they describe this current patchwork of rules as an impediment to testing their cars in the u.s. and prefer to continue the testing in europe. i think don't like to see us falling behind with creating an environment for testing. especially because if we had regulatory regimes like this, i always say if this was around during the time of the wright brothers, we would have never gotten off the ground and to exploring air travel. so we were the first to introduce legislation trying to permit the testing of autonomous vehicles. but other countries are clearly leapfrogging over us by offering more flexibility companies to test this technology. and the uk, for example, is rapidly moving forward. japan has allowed nissan and toyota to test their vehicles there since 2013. and so my question is, in your experience, are we falling behind, because other countries are creating a better regulatory
environment for testing? what is the regulatory environment like in terms of dealing with this development of this technology? and what can we as legislator due to ensure that our regulations in this space keep up with the pace of innovation? and i don't mean just keep up with the pace of it, but ensure that america leads. i'll open that you be to nup to anybody. >> the passage of stickers and the fast act sets the stage for the adoption of 8-s technologies, which are foundational for automated driving. the faster we can get that out there both from a technology development as well as a consumer acceptance standpoint, that's good for the use the. it's good for these techs. and it builds on success as you do that. i think the her to piece that is important is, you know, terms
how do you support really standing up or evaluating relevant life use cases or proof of concepts or pilots, if you will? and that's what we're seeing other countries doing, is helping support actually getting these systems up and running, to learn from them as quickly as possible. and that takes infrastructure support. that takes things that the government is best equipped to help execute and manage. that's an another big area where we would really welcome the support of these agencies. >> when we're talking about infrastructure, we're planning smart cities, we're investing in the infrastructure, we need to be thinking, you know, five years ahead, ten years ahead in terms of the ability for us to have smart devices. >> exactly. the markings on the roadways, equipping the information to be ready for these technologies. >> if we're talking about large investments in infrastructure from the federal government, we
as legislators should be looking into that? >> federal and state. m-dot, u of m, and a number of other companies have come together in ann arbor and surrounding areas as well as a dedicated track area on the campus grounds. >> we've been very enconcerned by the way that secretary foss has approached this, recognizing it's important to work together and find ways to deploy it. we certainly don't know at this stage of the technology development all of the answers. i think we've seen flexibility to learn as we go and respond to what we learned. >> so instead of promulgating rules, trying to imagine what the future is going to look like, shouldn't we be focused on testing right now and rules that focus on creating a good environment for testing? >> senator, usually we've so far found that we don't actually have particular challenges with testing and the technology is
advancing very rapidly. where we're not concerned is bringing this to market and limiting the technology. that's jink thing the congress and the federal government can help pave the way. >> thank you. i wanted to give you a public thank you to gm for being such good partners on the spectrum issues. you all leaned in and worked with us in a cooperative manner. >> we appreciate your support on the issue as well. >> thank you, senator peters is up next. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as a senator from michigan and representing the motor city, i'm very excited about these incredible developments in our auto industry, and to see auto manufacturers coming together with suppliers, with technology companies, all cooperating together to create some partnerships that will ultimately create an awful lot of new jobs and are going to just lead to some extraordinary
breakthroughs in terms of vehicle safe as well as performance. and as we've heard from your testimony and others deal with some of our mobility issues for disabled individuals. audit mate e -- there are still challenges we'll be facing as policymakers. it's clear that what we are on the cusp of is disruptive technology in the auto sector, unlike anything we've seen for i can't imagine how many decades, but it's many, many decades since we've seen disruptive technology. as we've heard today but it's important to repeat, webb over 38,000 people died on our highways last year. and your companies are developing technologies that could very well dramatically reduce that number, saving tens
of thousands of lives. that's why i believe as members of congress and my colleagues here, that we have to do everything we make to ensure your efforts are not delayed or unnecessarily deterred. congress has to ensure that the agencies are thoroughly testing any proposal for spectrum sharing in the 9.5 gigahertz grand. connected vehicle technologies should not be compromised by someone connected to a toaster or a light switch. the technologies of today and tomorrow must be safe from cyberthreats and protect users' private as well. we must avoid the use of local regulations and instead work to implement consistent national pop. and we must think carefully about the insurance implications as well of connected and
automated cars and the populating of liability shifting to the manufacturers as human control decreases. i support the administration's ten-year, $3.9 billion proposal for this purpose, and particularly the $200 million in the dotfy 17 budget request for funding a large scale pilot program that will accelerate these testing. and i think it's particular essential that ail portion of this money go towards funding a designated national facility where academia, industry, and government can come together to conduct research, testing, product development, and certification. as we've heard, countries like sweden, korea, china, japan, have already established these test sites. we need to do it as well. i certainly appreciate the comment of m city associated with the university of michigan,
which is involved in some detailed testing on a track which brings all the manufacturers together. and perhaps we'll get some comment from some of you as to how important it is to have a national testing facility that can bring all the manufacturers together, suppliers together, to make sure that all of these technologies actually work together. it doesn't do any good to have a great product if it's not working in conjunction with the toyotas and hondas and gms and anybody else out on the road, and in all weather conditions as well, as somebody mentioned. behavior in snow and heiice is important for us to look at. we want to create a national center to produce this sort of testing. >> can i address that, senator? i think that would be great. my one concern is that the test data was made available to a more academic/expert based community for that validation, that these tests are meeting the
standards we think they should. >> that should be led by an academic center. >> an independent group. not necessarily academics. but sure, i would be happy to. [ laughter ] >> i take it you're volunteering. >> to your point, senator periods of time, it's important that we do find a way to thoroughly test these technologies. as you indicate, it will take a lot of work amongst various companies and suppliers and regulators. and so i do think that having a way that we can approach this in a coordinated fashion would be very important to us going forward. >> anyone else? >> we very much value the opportunity to test in all kinds of weather conditions. that's part of reason why we've done as much testing as we have in different locations. we would certainly love to learn more. >> i also want to pick up from a report that the department of transportation just released
last week that concluded that many of the standards assume the presence, as you know, of a human driver. and the cars that deviate further from this conventional vehicle design, vehicle certification becomes a lot more difficult. and depending on some new standards and how we interpret those standards. so i would certainly encourage your companies to continue to submit questions for interpretation to nhtsa so that working together, the automotive industry and government can determine how to address potential regulatory advances, which all of you have expressed we need to have in order to move this technology forward. i also encourage you to share testing data with nhtsa as well to assist them in developing these new national standards for automated vehicle functions. so perhaps some comments from you as to how you're working now with nhtsa, sharing information. there was discussion about some new targeted authority for nhtsa
as well, if you could elaborate on some of those ideas. >> we continue to work closely with nhtsa as our regulatory agency. being an oem, we have a very long relationship with nhtsa. we have worked together collaboratively with them around this topic of autonomous vehicles. we look forward to learning more on both sides on regulatory authority, because as i think we have emphasized many times, we want to develop and deploy this technology safely. and safety is our primary concern, and making sure that we can do it safely is very important to the company before we actually introduce these to the public. >> senator, you why agree more. safety has to be to the foremost in this. for the last six years we've benefit engaged with nhtsa, sharing our lessons from the road, and, you know, taking
their feedback and incorporating it into our program. we're excited about secretary fox's initiative in building guidelines over the next six months and look forward to taking part in the workshops. >> thank you. >> senator? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. in 2014, 3,179 people were killed in distracted driving crashes, and another 431,000 were injured. this got included in the fast act, to make sure states besides connecticut were able to receive funding for educational efforts on distracted driving. we know these incentive grants are helpful. could you talk about what
advances in automated vehicles would need to reduce incidents of distracted driving? we know it's a major issue. it's expanding. it's not just kids, it's adults too. we just had today in our newspaper, front page, two people hurt, one man -- a man killed, a school bus driver, 79 years old. he lived in a rural area. he was just going out like he did every day to get his newspaper at the mailbox and it turned out the woman who hit him was doing a text, and of course she's been charged with a crime. that just was today. and every single day there's something like that. so could you talk about how the automated vehicles -- whoever can take it would be helpful. >> what that unfortunate and tragic example highlights is the role that 8-s systems can play, with systems like collision and braking and other driver alerts, and ultimately the car taking evasive action as it gets more
and more automated, those are direct countermeasures to the effects of distraction were the occupant or the driver is not paying attention to what the car is doing. that's the immediate safety benefit that vehicles that are commercially available now can bring. which is why we're so excited about the implementation of the stickers act and getting that out there into the consumer base. but as you continue down that path, you know, automated driving and the sensors that go with it are what really enable the car to avoid those situations, regardless of what the driver is doing. and that's the ultimate safety benefit, not just for distracted driving but all forms of driver-related accidents. >> i think the distracted driving incidents are tragic. but to the point, autonomous vehicles can also address a very large percentage of our accidents that are due to drunken driving or speed related, over speed related
accidents. there's a large percentage, over 90% of accidents are attributable to some sort of driver report. and autonomous systems and automated vehicles should be able to in a very substantial way. >> senator, this is really at the heart of why we're engaged in this work. when we looked at the estimated 38,000 people who were killed on america's roads, there's so much opportunity to do good here now. t the. >> looking at the issue of drunk driving specifically, it's been determined by more than one research that reducing the
incidence of drunk driving across the country. the ability to apply technology on a mass level is where lyft believes it can contribute to this discussion. by enabling a ride-sharing program like lift, we can bring these to the public for mass scal scale. >> my specialty is human error. so, this is definitely something that's going to help address these problems. the real trouble we're up against is the hybrid time. more and more autonomy will be installed. tesla suffered from one of their driver get in the backseat of the car when the car was on autopilot when tesla made it quite clear you are to be in the
seat. funny thing about human behavior, if humans think the car is pretty good, their behavior will be even worse. the safest thing to do would be to have them all be driverless without any steering wheel. but at the same time no steering wheel google car we'll have to be careful about how we set up that human autonomy interaction. >> imagine where you get in a car, get on the fron way, press a button and it drives for you. 140 employees tested that capability. they loved the product. they thought it was fantastic.
driving is the distraction and we saw that live. >> at some point, autonomy is so good, people trust it. that's why we're taking that leap toward fully self-driven vehicle zblts te vehicle. >> i have to add, technologies exist that if someone climbs in the backseat or isn't paying attention to the road, systems can warn them to pay attention to the road. >> i'm almost out of time here. autonomous vehicles and increased mobility for senior citizens, i no longer call a silver tsunami, because that is too negative, mr. chairman. i've been told by my senior groups to call it a silver surge of more seniors.
it will be curious. i'll ask questions on the record later about how there could be help for seniors as well. >> good questions. we'll be there soon. >> thank you for those questions. this will be great for people who need to keep them awake when they're driving to south dakota. >> you mean when they're driving through south dakota. >> senator danes? >> perfect segue, talking about big, wide open country we have out west. thank you for testifying today. it's refreshing to hear about
innovation taking place outside washington, d.c. lee and behold. generally you is 80 miles an hour. that is the speed limit. and so i see these autonomous vehicles as having a potential for significant safety improvement. i want to talk through safety issues. first of all, driver fatigue, my wife and i were headed out for dinner this weekend. clearly roll over, most likely driver fatigue, claimed a man from my hometown. billions of dollars, thousands of lives lost because of driver fatigue. how will autonomous vehicles save driver lives? >> in our model, they're not driving anymore, so -- but 140
used the vehicles. one of the most touching stories was a woman who lives 1 1/2 hours from work and commutes every day. she told us she wanted to ko ee for her family and exercise. she said every day that week she got home and was able to go for a run, cook for her family because she was not exhausted from fighting traffic. maybe the softer elements, social benefits of this technology are going to enumer wrabl and hard to quantify up fron front. >> for some of these semi autonomous vehicles, we can look at the driver. are their eyes on the road? are they blinking? are they shut? we can determine the state of the driver. is fatigue a factor, and take the appropriate counter measures to stimulate or reengage the
driver. those technologies will roll out toward the end of this year, along with that broader suite of autonomous. >> it's probably more the semi autonomous where we're at here. let's pivot and talk about drunk driving. how will this reduce drunk driving? semi autonomous mode as well, how do we reduce drunk driving injuries, fatalities? >> as you indicated in fully autonomous mode, it's obvious. >> how about semi autonomous? >> there are technologies that are being adapted to see how well the driver is driving. hopefully they will be a solution for several issues around driving. >> drunk driving, we had a horrible wrong-way crash on
interstate 94 eastern montana, killed three people two weeks ago. thinking about the way that google is working, maybe this is for you, dr. urmson. if you are in the eastbound lane of westbound, to detect a wrong way situation, to prevent? how would that work? is that possible? >> i'm quite sure that that's technology that could be developed. obviously, we are building vehicles that wouldn't make that mistake. but, you know, geofencing, geomodeling technologies could be in place to address that. animal collisions are up. not just deer, but moose and elk in montana. how can this help reduce animal vehicle collisions?
>> a reference was made to it earlier. autonomous vehicles use an array of sensors, not just cameras. i think the potential exists that the vehicles could be even more perceptive of when animals are approaching the roadway than human beings are. in michigan we have a significant issue of deer in the highway. these sorts of technologies offer real opportunity. >> and often times at night, right? >> absolutely. >> and as i've taught my kids you're better off if you don't swerve. it's the swerving often times that results in the significant injurie injuries. >> we've all heard much systems being hacked. this threat becomes ever more real. what is gm doing to ensure current vehicles are secure? >> cyber security, in particular, we have a dedicated
organization that spends time on these issues. it is managed by a senior executive in the company. we have learned from other industries on how to approach cyber security issues. we employ red teams that only spend time trying to find vulnerabilities. just a week ago i spent time with one of these engineers who brought in a module and explained to me all the thing he did to try to get in and compromise this module. it's really very impressive. we also have now an industry group that shares best practices as well as reports vulnerabilities across the industry. we're very proud that jeff is the vice chairman of that group. we take cyber security very seriously. going forward, the car needs to be designed from the ground up with cyber security in mind. that is our intent. >> thank you.
>> senator gardner? >> thank you to the witnesses for your testimony today. there's a lot of interest and intrigue in how this will move forward and what technologies will emerge on top. the questions are the tip of the iceberg as we try to figure out and understand how this will affect our culture, society, innovation, safety and economy. >> 2005 when auto steer tractors became popular. over that decade-long experience, if you want to get down to a 12-inch accuracy in the field whether you're planting corn or drilling wheat it costs around $7,000 to retro fit an old piece of equipment, tractor that's 10, 15 years old or so, to have it down to one-inch accuracy it's down to probably $28,000 to retro fit an old tractor, that didn't come
off the assembly line with auto steer capabilities on it. if you're dealing with a car that's going down the interstate, though, you know, the questions of accuracy is not something that you -- well, we had the accident because we had 24-inch accuracy. no. satellite guidance versus radar on the car itself. we're not talking satellite, correct? >> no. vehicle also use gps but also an array of other sensors and some very high-definition maps to understand exactly where the vehicle is in the world and position itself very accurately. >> as you're rolling vehicles off the assembly line that could have this auto steer off the factory line and retro fit older vehicles to it, who is the responsible body from a regulatory landscape to make sure that that used car that has an after-market autonomous system placed on it is up to the
same sort of cal abrasion or specifics as a factory line car? >> in our view, for some of the reasons we've discussed earlier, to do it successfully and safely, a number of fundamental systems in the car. so the idea of trying to take that and retro fit it. >> somebody is going to figure out how to retro fit an old car and who will be responsible for that. >> as i say, we don't see a path to be able to do that. >> is there a state that's getting it better than some states in terms of allowing this to flourish?
if so who is it and what are they doing? >> that is an important question. what we found is that the best action is to take no action and, in general, can be safely and what we're looking for is the leadership level bringing groundwork for legislation. >> who is doing the best job of not doing anything? >> i'm sure i don't have a good answer. >> out of curiosity more than anything, question or example of
the dear, you're driving down separate of colorado and have an animal on the side, soccer ball or something to a road. how are we going to address issues of sort of the moral choice that a computer is going to have to make? a car is going to have to make, whether it veers left, if there's a car next to it, it veers left into the ditch. how do we address that? how do we make that happen? >> this is a question that humanity has struggled with for hundreds and hundreds of years. there isn't a right kind of philosophical answer. the approach we're taking is to try to reduce this to practice if they can implement something and see the broader safety and
economic values. let's try hardest to avoid pedestrian and beyond that, avoid other vehicles and beyond that, avoid things that don't move in the world. be transparent. if you're in this vehicle, this is the way this will behave and then you can make the decision, am i okay with that or not? >> never get put into those situations in the first place. >> absolutely. >> with the emphasis on developing these with safety preeminent in our minds i think there are real opportunities here. >> obviously in colorado we had about 100,000 new residents to the state in 2014-2015, fastest growing state in the country. 80% of that growing between pueblo, colorado, and ft.
collins, colorado. this technology is one of the keys to allowing a thriving ski industry, resort industry up in the mountains where you'á9 limited to a number of tunnels you can put through a mountain from a cost perspective and physics perspective as well. i look forward. >> there are lots of reasons people are moving to colorado. >> and automation is probably a good thing for that. >> we may need more autonomous cars in colorado for that reason. thank you, senator gardner. senator markey? >> thank you, mr. chairman, very much. computers on wheels, absolutely amazing what is happening. i just went out on to the
responses put -- thieves no longer need a crowbar. they just need an iphone. today's cars are also collecting tremendous amounts of personal driving information. cars know where you are, where you've been and even the mileage since your last oil change. some of that is important to have gathered. if all cars were fully autonomous and we were relying on human driver to get to where you are, to get to where you want to go, those will become more pronounced in our society.
>> introduced with senator bloomenthal, spy car act that directs national highway traffic safety administration and the federal trade commission to establish federal standards to secure our cars and protect our driver's privacy. so, for each of the panelists, if you would, i would like to you answer this question on mandatory cyber security standards, including hacking protection that meets all -- to protect against hacking attacks. data security measures that means that all collected information should be secured and hacking mitigation so that vehicles are equipped to stop
hacking in real time. dr. cummings, what do you think? do we need rules of the road that -- >> i'm in complete agreement with all those rules. the concerns that i have and that i testify two years ago in front of this same committee, it's happening so quickly that the government institutions cannot keep pace. the government is -- cannot hire the same people that chris is hiring at googlex. >> no, this would just be to say to the companies, build in the hacking protections. >> i agree. but i also think that you need a regulatory framework that can ensure that this is happening. >> that's what i'm asking. can we say to ntsa and -- >> i'm saying ntsa, at least today, has the people on staff that they need to do that. >> that's the problem with the securities exchange commission, they had a bunch of lawyers but couldn't deal with the meltdown that occurred. obviously, agencies have to get the technical expertise they
need. it would be important, though, to have the rules if they had the personnel to do it. >> i agree. i think that's a real challenge. >> i understand. we have to meet the challenges of the future. >> not only are we fully committed to ensuring that prevent any instances of cyber hacking, but, yes, we are in support of well thought out principles that would codify our previous existing steps to ensure that. >> that there be a consistency of what these principles look like, in order to do so, that whatever principles are put in place to ensure the privacy and safety of our uses.
>> i think the chairman is going to catch on to me. >> standardized in the approach. >> regulation trying to stay ahead of this very fast changing area, we think a more flexible approach is purposeful. >> google is attacked on a regular basis. very dynamic space and important to adapt the principles at which you defend overtime. >> i understand what you're saying. witnesses sat here 30 years ago and said the same thing about air bags and seat belts.
how it would be hard to mandate a specific air bag. i understand but at the same time people expect air bags to protect their children and they're going to expect certain standards mandated across the board that will protect people. i was chasing two 9-year-olds, i was only 5. i could see how it's difficult for the driver to see how i was going to do it. clearly, hackers will have the ability to break into these vehicles. if ten companies and ten don't, then that will be identified by the hackers and i think we need
minimal standards that every company is going to meet. the sooner we start the discussion and accept that as a responsibility, the better off we'll be. >> thank you, senator markey. senator bloomenthal? >> may i respectfully suggest that the answer to the question, should there be mandatory privacy and safety standards, the answer is yes. and i didn't hear that from all of the witnesses. i heard answers that basically implied maybe there should be, but the clear need, it seems to me, and for the sake of this will be yes. that your technology is meeting mandatory standards. is ntsa equipped to establish
those standards, in your view? >> no, they're not, in my opinion. >> should this be implemented widely until there are such standards? >> no. i think we need to address these issues before there's wide disemnation of the technology. >> do any of the other witnesses disagree? >> i would say yes. we talked about cyber security. we operate only with an opt-in principl principle. >> so you agree there should be mandatory standards? >> no. i think we're operating with privacy as a very important part of how we implement this. i think we'll continue to work with regulators on what is appropriat
appropriate. >> i have to say -- i'm not a technology person. i'm a country lawyer from connecticut. if i ask somebody, do you think that that red light means stop and they came back and said, let me put it this way. under these circumstances maybe. we have great respect for stop lines and, et cetera. i would say, the answer is yes, because again the credibility that this technology has will be extremely fragile if people can't trust standards that are uniform and mandatory, not necessarily for you but all the other actors that may come into this space at some point.
it's a reason that senator markey and i have introduced this legislation. the private sector, companies can do it voluntarily, i would have more trust in that argument if the answer to this question was, yes, we will respect mandatory standards that are applicable uniformly throughout the industry. i went for a ride today in one of the vehicles that uses the current technology. and it's impressive. it occurred to me when i heard about the open spaces of the dakotas and minnesota and montana that i was also driving yesterday in downtown new york,
manhattan, in the midst of the rainstorm i was not driving myself, i was riding, thankfully. i don't know how this technology will fare in terms of safety in that kind of environment. so i would just close by suggesting that there is a need to develop rules of the road here, standards and distinctions in spaces. thank you very much for being here today. i look forward to working with you. thank you. >> i thank the gentleman. can we go on the privacy issue as well? what about privacy?
saying no to data collection, other features and ensuring that personal driving information not be used for advertising or marketing purposes without -- dr. cummings? >> yes, senator markey. these are issues we're facing across a number of industries and a number of technologies. the fact of the matter is that these cars will be one big data gathering machine, telemetry data. once this happens -- right now, the cars really do need to talk
to each other. they need to talk back. for the near term, they need to talk. they will be gathering a lot of data. it's not clear who will be doing what with that data. i personally would feel better to know there are some set of standards in place that were protecting my personal data. at least, like i said, allow me it know what's happening. >> you think there should be rules that the information can't be used for marketing purposes? >> absolutely. >> do you agree with that? >> senator markey, thank you for the question. lyft has personal policies in place. strict opt-in by its user. >> should it be mandatory? >> the way i would address that, sir, there should definitely be standards. how they're develop sd really the question.
we put upon ourselves, with respect to safety, privacy, insurance. as an example, we develop aid whole new type of insurance that provided $1 million. this is not required by any law. >> let's take me as a passenger and 100 people who live in the boston area and somebody just wants access to the names of all the people and where they went using your service. do you think there should be a privacy protection for that, that you're bound by, that you can't sell that information even though people would want to know who is coming into that area? don't you think that should be an absolute prohibition? >> there should definitely be privacy protections. there are very unique situations that can't always be for seen in the development of new te
technology. >> assuming you're already doing the right thing, which is what your say iing, why would you ha a problem with kind of just work ing to create a standard? >> if you will, sir, that was the point i was going to make. >> enacted of their own volition. i think that was important to make sure that the involvement of the industry. >> you've heard the options here. yes or no, mandatory? >> you should first decide yes or no, and that would be helpful. >> we should work on the regulations -- >> you don't have a yes or no, in terms of minimal privacy
standard? >> no. >> i know you do. we don't pass murder statutes for our mothers. we do it for the people who think might murder people. you meet a minimal standard. let's assuming your company never does anything wrong, you still need a statute for people who might do things wrong. you don't think we need that statute or -- >> senator, we'll continue to -- >> i appreciate that. dr. urmson? >> what about making that foundation standard, though? >> i'm not in a position to comment on that. >> ultimately yes is the right answer. there's a minimal standard. and hopefully, we'll reach that
day. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator markey. and there is no requirement for the panelists to agree with him. you can answer the question the way that you want. >> this whole issue of consumer -- consumers may welcome a new technology because it's exciting and may offer mobility that people would find valuable, certainly not met by traditional cars but then other consumers who prefer the look, feel of traditional driving and may resist autonomous vehicles because they have reservations of giving up control of the car.
where do you see spurring demand for autonomous vehicles? >> the underserved communities we talked about earlier, deploying this technology in this ride-sharing model allows us to do that in a very effective way. we'll do it in a very safe way. people don't need to purchase an autonomous vehicle to get experience with the technology. as people gain more experience with it, they'll get more comfortable with it. >> the aaa report that was on -- showed that the minority, also showed that aid systems are helping to prepare that groundwork and gain consumer acceptsance of those technologies. that's why we think it's important that we have a broad application of technologies for the safety benefit. >> senator, from our experience,
when someone first hears about the idea of a self-driving car, it comes across as alien or very far out there. and without fail, whether someone comes in, thinking that this is all smoke and mirrors or that this is never going to happen, within about five minutes of riding in one of our vehicles, they're in the back, on the cell phone as if this was anything -- any other day. i think part of it is that people are so used to riding in vehicles that have been driven by someone else, whether it's their parents or loved ones. and so i think letting people have the chance to experience it will increase adoption very quickly. >> just as a follow-up to that, during your test. do they feel safe? you indicated you feel like they have a very -- it seem ed like -
>> we've done some studies of this. the first five minutes is a little intense. this car is driving itself. then 10 to 15 minutes it feels like it drives pretty well. 15 minutes on, it drives better than me. is their impression. >> they're going to enjoy it and really appreciate the values. >> it's just not that exciting. accelerate harshly, slam on the brakes. obey the traffic laws and very quickly the ride becomes -- driving is no longer the activity. your focused on whatever it is you're doing. that's exactly what we want the technology to bring. it's not about the drive. that fades away into the
backgroun background. >> in order to make sure that this is readily available, it has to be safe, convenient and cost effective. essentially same challenges that when launching a purely peer-to-peer platform and that idea was considered fairly out there. a few years later, it's become probably one of the most popular modes of transportation today. i think everyone here is committed to doing. and in order to make sure it is cost efficient, a ride-sharing platform like lyft must be involved. >> senator, i want to add one thing. timing is everything.
there is no question that someone is going to die in this technology. the question is when. what can we do to minimize that? i speak for many people to say we are strong advocates but if a death or fatality were to occur at the wrong time, it could set back the full innovation of this technology which will help to prevent those deaths on the road. many academics in this community are very concerned that we do want the safety testing data out there so that an accident that could have been prevent ed will not happen. >> this has been very helpful. in just looking at the technology, it seems like there's enormous potential there on so many levels and, first and foremost, of course, is safety. if we could reduce by any amount
the number of fatalities we have on america's roadways in a given year, that would be a remarkable accomplishment. in terms of economic, quality of life, environmental, congestion. all these things that we talk about in our society today seems to me at least. one of the things that's been raised today is the issue of cyber attacks, hacks and that sort of thing. and cyber security and measures being taken. i think that's something that people will inevitability raise concerns about, given just the overall cyber threats we face in the worlded to.
too, with redid you know dancy that's built into the vehicles, any types of gaps that occur. if there were some sort of disruption. so we encourage that and want to continue and make sure we do our job to ensure it's done in the safest manner possible but not in a way it inhibits or imposes any kind of barrier or impediment to something that has tremendous upside and potential for the american economy and safety of our nation. thank you all for making your time available to us today, your
thoughts and insights. we'll continue the conversation about this. sky seems to be the limit, so to speak. i would conclude that the record remains open for two weeks during which time senators are asked to submit any questions into the record and, upon receipt, witnesses are asked to submit answers to the committee as soon as possible. thank you very much. this hearing is adjourned.
before this hearing on self-driving cars, the chair of the committee, senator john thune and ranking member, senator bill nelson, test drove the self-driving cars and spoke to reporter s afterwards about their experience. >> want to do it? >> okay. want to jump in? >> this way? >> all right. >> i think he has somebody --
>> that looked like a human driving your car. >> yeah. we're going to get to try one that is not a human being. >> what are you looking to learn? >> how it can handle traffic. >> okay. >> what are your concerns or questions? >> to see the safety of how you can start to be automatic when, in fact, you have other human beings around that are not automatic. >> indeed.
i asked if there's anything you can do about that. apparently driverless cars will not help our traffic jams. we went out across the bridge, came back up on route 1. huge traffic jam on 395. basically got a chance to see the car in action. feel how it is when it's driverless and it's really amazing. way, way more than i had seen or thought. >> how did it feel? >> when you hand it off, basically you're hands off the steering column and the brakes, it adjusts automatically. >> i guess this is what we call driver assistant technology. you still have a driver in the driver's seat. next more advanced stage of this is where it's completely
autonomous and you have no driver in the vehicle. if you think. 38,000 fatalities every year on america's roads and how those could be avoided because of the mistakes people make behavior behaviorally when driving vehicles, this technology could save lives. >> tell me again, what does it see? >> well, it recognizes -- it has cameras all around. here, here. and then reacts to that. it will tell you, too, if, for example, you're in driver's license mode and you need to take control again.
if you take control of the driver -- the steering wheel it transitions back. it's amazing how it tnsitions from driverless or driver. >> who do you think the better driver, yourself or the car? >> i have to say, as he was driving it, you could tell -- obviously, he would let you know when he was handing it off. it does. we were in traffic all the way out and all the way back. and the way it automatically brakes and recognizes vehicles in front and vehicles behind and makes just automatic adjustments. it's really advanced. and then it takes any time you're in a situation, it takes and recognizes that. he captures that. they take it back, break it d n down.
i guess take a photograph or copy of what it's just seen and then take it back, break it down. car continues to become smarter over time. >> why the hearing today? >> well, we want to explore this. we think there's tremendous value, obviously, from health and safety standpoint. enabling technology, one of which is there's way too many traffic accidents on america's highways. in terms of productivity, convenience, quality of life features. there's so many things we can benefit from as this technology continues to advance. when you drive from sioux falls to rapid city, you could literally hand that off which would have productivity gains.
ice pack highway, which we have a lot of in northern climates and he was explaining how the smart features of the vehicle adapt to that. for example, if the driver was doing something or the car recognized something. some great safety features. >> senator, wasn't one of these cars involved in an accident recently? >> i think that's true, yeah. >> does that concern you? >> i think it does. i think there will always be gaps. we have accidents on the highways every day. that's the key, to try to figure out how to develop and continue to see this technology develop where the risk of accident goes down. a certain amount of, i think, risk, danger involved.
eliminate hazards, reduce risks and save lives. >> saying they would like to rather than patchwork of state regulations. is that the right path, to let the feds take the lead? >> in a situation like this, because we have 50 different states, lots of different highways that go across different states i think there needs to be -- i don't want to see the feds come down with a heavy hand but at least a framework where there are general rules of the road so people developing this technology, doing the research more of a role of the federal
government to play, no the to get in the way of it but to ensure it proceeds in a way that is safe and, hopefully, with an eye toward maximizing the role that technology can play in making highways safer and making americans lives better. >> i hear the reason why you went out into virginia is because the district of columbia doesn't permit the autonomous operation vehicles like this. are there issues with jurisdictions just prohibiting it all together? >> right. and that was the issue. that's why we had to go to virgini
virginia. >> as i was hands off, barreling toward a turn on a concrete wall, my instinct was to grab the wheel. but they said that if i did not grab the wheel that it actually would have gone ahead and turned. >> in your lifetime you've been in pretty cool pieces of equipment and ridden around in some great technology. where does this kind of stack up? >> for terrestrial transportation, this is pretty
good. >> would you trust that any moment -- you said you got nervous. do you trust it going down the highway? >> of course. i trust my own instincts to control the car. but they absolutely swore on a stack of bibles that as that car was accelerating into the turn that it would have turned. >> regulate this car? >> that's for another day. [ inaudible ] >> driving? >> sure. somebody else in control but -- >> what age children? my children are grown children. yes, i would trust them. i wouldn't trust a 6-year-old in here. >> no. but you would feel comfortable driving your family around in it? >> of course. of course. and it's very, very smooth. and despite all the washington potholes, it was still smooth. thanks, guys.
>> investigation into the flint, michigan, water investigation crisis continues thursday when the house oversight committee holds its third inning on the issue, hearing from gina mccarthy and michigan governor rick snyder. we'll have live coverage thursday morning 9:00 eastern here on c-span 3. >> primaries taking place in missouri, illinois and swing states. live coverage gets under way at 7:00 pm eastern. taking you on the road to the white house on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. >> supreme court is vested with outside amounts of power. with that power comes greater responsibility and the idea that you have individuals sitting on the court for -- unfettered for
30, 35 years just doesn't pass the smell test when it comes to a modern democracy. >> sunday night on q & a, gabe roth, fix the court executive director, he would like to see at the supreme court, including opening up oral arguments to cameras, proposing term limits on justices. >> the supreme court decisions affect all americans. all americans are aware of the third branch of government and in the last 10, 15 years the third branch of government has become so powerful. the idea that issues on voting and marriage and healthcare and immigration and women's rights, pregnancy discrimination. i can go on and on. these issues that 20, 30 years ago congress and the executive branch would get together and figure out a compromise and put together a bill. that doesn't happen anymore. the buck stops with the supreme court that i feel is unprecedented in our history and given that the supreme court is
making these very impactful decisions in our lives, the least we the public can do is press them to comport with modern expectations of transparency and accountability. >> sunday night on c-span's q and a. next a discussion on government-funded foreign aid with us aid administrator gail smith and david purdue of georgia and gene shaheen.
good afternoon and welcome. two items of housekeeping. again, per senate rules, protesting is prohibited, and we would ask you to please ensure that your cell phones have been shut off. it's my honor to welcome from aie, danny plecco. >> thank you, everybody, for not protesting and for clapping instead. ladies and gentlemen, it's really a great pleasure to welcome you to this joint american enterprise institute, brookings event with the new agency for international development administrator, gail smith. we've titled this event u.s. leadership in international development. that could mean absolutely anything. but i know that gail has a lot of fresh ideas and fresh thinking that i hope will take the last year of this
administration into a strong start for the next administration, whatever that is, and remember, no protesting. let me just -- we've got to laugh about something here in washington. let me just take a moment and introduce senator david purdue who's going to be helping us open up today. senator david purdue is the junior senator from georgia and the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee subcommittee on the state department and usaid which oversees the authorization of aid. i'm delighted on behalf of brookings and aid to welcome him to the podium for a few words of introduction. thank you. >> thank you, danny. i really appreciate that. i want to thank you for being here today. this is one of the most important things that we do, i believe, in the united states congress because this is where we put the face of america before the world. i am a freshman senate, i've
been here a year now. senator jean shaheen and i share two spots on the committee that oversees this effort that we're going to talk about today. i've lived outside of the united states and i've seen the best of america through our embassies, our state department people but also through us aid and the way we manifest our care for human beings through our money. i want to put that in context today. the good news today as i stand before here, since 2000, foreign aid is up over 50%. these are real dollars. the bad news is it's only a fraction of what's needed. if you talk to the people who are professionals and look at the needs around the world, some 60 million people today are displaced. 60 million, think about that. that's bigger than most countries. in one country alone, half their people in syria, over 11 million people, have lost their homes.
i was blessed to be able to visit serbia just a few weeks ago on a trip over there to see the refugee pipeline from greece to macedonia to serbia to croatia to austria to germany and met with several heads of states about how the refugees are being weaponized. this is a major concern right now that there are countries like russia and syria who are purposely going through an effort basically to rid their area of certain ethnic people. we've seen that before in the world. the history of the world, in my mind, has had dangerous periods. we are certainly in one that's extremely dangerous right now and it's measured no two ways. one, i would call it a globe at security crises. we have the rise of rivalries, russia and china being ever more energetic military and the second thing is the growth of
terrorism. isis and ten affiliates from malaysia, indonesia, the philippines to algeria, they've proven they can strike anywhere at any time as we've just seen here in our homeland. but the one that really bothers me is the fact that we have a growing proliferation of nuclear capability among rogue nations. the world is very dangerous, yet at the same time one of the biggest dangers that faces the globe, i believe, today, is this sweeping global debt crises and we are certainly a big player. we have a large debt and it threatens our ability to lead around the world, not just in moments of crises but in leading democracies and growth of democracies. one of the greatest pressures right now anywhere in the world are on these fragile democracies of these ex soviet satellites that are trying to fund their young democracies and at the same time take care of this
great humanitarian need that's on their borders today. they're slowing down. last week we had ten countries in europe slow down their take of refugees and so forth. that's going to create a problem in greece. it's already, you see the refugees pooling there. i'm going to egypt in a few weeks because i believe there's a problem there and it's going to get much worse from subsha heron africa. the other part of that crises is our own funding in the united states government. we are twice as large as the second player in the u.k. they give more to the gdp but we are substantially the leader in terms of flan tlopy. we're at the $35 billion range
and we would love for that to be much higher. the state department all in, state department and us aid from 1992 to the year 2000 we averaged about $20 billion running that entire enterprise. between 2000 to 2008 we went from 20 to 40. since then, since 2009, because as militaries come out of embattled areas like afghanistan and iraq, you see the need for us aid and state department personnel go up dramatically. we're now at the $54 billion range. so from 20 to 54 in 15 short years, you can see the pressure that those of us -- i'm on the farm relations committee and the budget committee so i see both pressures. this is one we have to come to grips with. we're the richest country in the history of the world. yes, we're the largest supporter of philanthropy today and i'm proud of that.
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