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tv   Auto Industry Executives Testify on Self- Driving Cars  CSPAN  February 16, 2017 4:13pm-6:18pm EST

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it puts your brain in a state of emergency where you'll do anything in order to get the drug. you are perceiving it's needed to survive. >> west virginia jim justice gives his state of the state address. >> you elected me as your governor, a person that had never been a politician, in the wake of me running as a democrat, at a time when donald trump won our state by 1,700 million percent. >> all programs are available on on our home page or searching the video library. the house energy and commerce subcommittee on digital commerce and consumer protection held a hearing about the deployment status of self-driving cars. auto industry officials explained their companies'
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ongoing efforts in developing autonomous vehicles and answered questions on safety, cyber security and their hopes for updated rules and regulation from the national highway traffic administration. this is two hours. good morning. i'd like to call the subcommittee on digital commerce
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and consumer protection to order. the chair now recognizes himself for five minutes for an opening statement. again, good morning and welcome to the first hearing of the 115th congress for the digital congress and consumer protection subcommittee. it's a pleasure to be here with you today. before we get started, i want to thank the chairman for the work they did in the last congress here on the subcommittee. i want to recognize the new vice chairman from mississippi. glad to have you on board. also looking forward to working and advancing an agenda that creates jobs and puts consumers first and i want to recognize the lady in illinois, our ranking member. i appreciate we'll be working with her this congress. i look forward to working in a bipartisan fashion to grow the economy and protect consumers. i look forward to working with the members of the subcommittee to continue to explore areas in the economy to provide
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opportunities for growth and job creation. i had an opportunity to visit the auto show here in washington, d.c. the showroom floors were filled with vehicles equipped with innovative features and newly designed systems that promised to enhance the safety, mobility and convenience of our drivers' experiences. i was impressed with the creativity of the auto industry to build the vehicles that we could only dream about a short time ago. the technological advancements are amazing. today the subcommittee will continue to focus on self-driving vehicles and their potential to transform our transportation system. we'll hear about what testing is happening and what testing needs to happen and what the time frame is for that deployment. in 2015 there were over 35,000 lives lost on our nations highways. over 1,000 of these fatalities were in my home state of ohio. based on early estimates,
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traffic fatalities in 2016 are going to be higher. we know that human error accounts for over 90% of all traffic accidents. the emergence of automated vehicle technology and growing investments into fully self-driving vehicles promises to reduce lives lost on the roads by decreasing traffic accidents making roadways safer for all users. as we work to make self driving vehicles a reality, testing these vehicles will be critical for refining their missions. today vehicles undergo tests before they're sold to consumers. vehicle engineers and professional test drivers go through inspections of vehicles to ensure compliance with crashnecrash
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worthiness. cars are put through hundreds of thousands of miles of testing to ensure once a vehicle is on a dealer's lot it's safe. unlike conventional vehicles fully self driving vehicles are intended to operate without the input of human drivers. they no longer depend on a driver. testing will be essential to certifying the safety in empowering self driving vehicles. as we discuss the testing of self driving vehicles to date and steps to commercial deployments, i look forward to earn willi learning from the witnesses about plans for future deployment and i look forward to hearing about the existing testing environment can be improved to facilitate the developments of potentially life saving technology in this
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country. ohio transportation research announced an investment into a smart mobility advanced research and test center in east liberty, ohio to allow for the testing of self driving vehicles across thousands of acres. we need to understand how to ensure that more states take positive steps to move testing forward and to ensure that testing doesn't become a roadblock to innovation. testing is essential to the successful and safe deployment of self driving vehicles. testing will not only provide auto makers and other entities with the data they need to make these vehicles as safe as possible, but it will help build consumer confidence which is essential. i thank the witnesses for taking the time to be with us today and i look forward to a thoughtful discussion. at this time i have about a minute left. is there anyone that would like
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to claim the minute? the chair recognizes the vice chairman. >> thank you for calling this hearing today to build on the subcommittee's efforts to examine and better understand the world of self driving cars. as many of you have noted today, the innovation in self driving cars has the potential to provide improvements to our transportation system and enhancements that could save thousands of lives every year. of interest to me is the new benefits that self driving cars would provide to americans with disabilities, including those with intellectual disabilities who are unable to obtain driver's licenses and must rely on friends and relatives and sometimes uncertain modes of public transportation in order to get about their daily lives, including running errands or just getting to a job. in the disability world, lack of transportation is widely viewed as the top impediment to success
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and advancement in society. self driving cars could offer the disability community a really tremendous opportunity. we're looking forward to hearing more about this. with that i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back and the chair recognizes the ranking member of the subcommittee for five minutes for an opening statement. >> thank you so much. this is the first hearing of the newly remade digital consumer protection and subcommittee. i'm glad to see it named consumer protection and it's back where it belongs. the subcommittee has important work to do on behalf of american consumers. we are kicking off the congress
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with a hearing on safety, which comes as the number of traffic deaths nationwide is increasing and consumer product safety, and safety issues before products are sold. the emergence of new technology poses new challenges for cyber security. this impacts america's every day lives. we need to be watch dogs ensuring the benefit of american consumers. we can work together to advance consumer interests over the course of the congress. i also want to take a brief moment to thank the democratic members of our subcommittee. i want to welcome back to the subcommittee doris duly and jane
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green and joe kennedy. i am very excited to work with all of you and the rest of our subcommittee colleagues. today's hearing continues our discussion of self driving cars where we left off in november. self driving cars have the potential to greatly reduce the number of accidents caused by human error. however, we need oversight to ensure human error is not replaced by vehicle error. i share the optimism about the long term promise about autonomous vehicles. while testing is necessary before we can confidently put consumers in self driving cars and what is that testing? the just trust us approach simply doesn't work for passenger vehicles.
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not after the industry's failure that we've seen from takata air bags. the viability of self driving cars depend on manufacturers and government working to share data and promote safety. as we think about testing, we need to figure out the specifics of how many wavers are necessary for test vehicles in the coming years and how specific those wavers should be. we need to decide what safety tests or standards are necessary and we need to determine how states and the federal government can best work together to ensure safe roads. i want to apologize that i have to step out for a moment as i told the chairman. i also have a budget committee meeting this morning. i hope to be back later to ask questions of our witnesses. i want to thank those that i met before this hearing for their
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time and their information. i want to thank you all for being here today. i know yield the remaining time to congresswoman matsuey. >> thank you very much for yielding me time. autonomous vehicles have potential to change more than just cars. this technology gives us a way to think about mobility. it has the potential to expand access to seniors, americans with disabilities and so many more who may not be able to drive today. this technology allows us to rethink urban landscapes and public spaces we may no longer need for parking spaces and perhaps most importantly it progra promises safety benefits for families. this places new demands on our roads and highways and the infrastructure that powers wireless communications. we need a framework that ensures we're building the connected
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future of the 21st century. as we consider this new landscape, there is an important role for state and federal regulators and traditional manufacturers and congress to play in deploying this future. i look forward to working with all of you in this exciting area and i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you very much. right now i don't believe the chairman of the full committee is here so we'll informally pass on the chairman's testimony at this time. the chair would recognize for five minutes the gentleman from new jersey, the ranking member of the full committee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i wanted to start by congratulating you on your new chairmanship of this newly named subcommittee and i'm hopeful this subcommittee will watch out for the little guy and i'm
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pleased that the words consumer protection appear again in the name. today's hearing is an example of our consumer protection oversight obligation. i read something that i think can sum up where we are. i quote, a decade ago self driving cars were a matter of debate. today they're inevitable. since we know they're coming to the marketplace i'm pleased instead of talking about the potential benefits achieved in the out years, we will get into the weeds a bit and i look forward to hearing about where we are today in the testing, what needs to be done to establish these cars are reliable and safe. as i said in our self driving cars hearing in november, we need these vehicles to be safe not just when all cars on the road are autonomous, but also the decades when they share the road with human drivers. i look forward to how innovators are using tools to demonstrate
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these vehicles are safe and they meet the challenges of interacting with other objects on the roads such as bicyclists and wet pavement. a ton -- autonomous driving has been created by men and women, many who are immigrants who bring skills to our workforce. any efforts to put up roadblocks to immigration will also put up roadblocks to be ahead in the curve. we need to find ways to tap these technologies to help workers find new opportunities through education and training.
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>> i'm just going to talk loud. no one has ever said i didn't have a big mouth. thank you for yielding. there's never been a more exciting time to be in the auto industry. mr. chairman, it's an honor to be a member of this committee too. the midwest is here. it's technology. we're trying to stay at the forefront of innovation technology. there's never been a more exciting time to be in the auto industry. automated vehicles are not just something you read about in science fiction. in reality they're here and helping transform mobility and the transportation of people and goods. transportation is no longer the accurate word. mobility is. in 2015, 32950 people died on the road in this country. this would be a public health
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epidemic if it were any other industry. since 94% of accidents are attributable to human error and it's an issue of international competitivene competitiveness. automated vehicles will be developed globally whether we like it or not. i think it's critical that america be at the forefront to develop these life saving advances or we'll lose our critical edge in this space. my home state of michigan is leading the way in this area. there will be focus on testing and certification of automated vehicles and was designated as an automated proving ground by d.o.t. michigan, in a bipartisan way, my colleagues are dedicating considerable resources to automated vehicles and i'm
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committed to helping it and the united states remain leaders in this vital area. that being said, safety, including cyber security, has to be our top priority here. nobody wants to let unsafe technologies on the road, but we also don't want to prevent vehicles that improve safety from reaching consumers either. i'm looking forward to working with the committee and stakeholders to strike the right balance between supporting innovation and making sure that consumers are safe. i yield back the balance of my time. >> as i mentioned when the chairman of the full committee arrives, he'll be afforded the opportunity to give his opening statement. that concludes with the members' opening states. the chair would like to remind members pursuant to committee rules all statements will be made part of the record. we want to thank all of our witnesses for being with us today and taking the time to
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testify before the subcommittee. today's witnesses will have the opportunity to give opening statements followed by a round of questions from the members. our witness panels for today's hearings will include mike ableson who is the vice president of general motors, mr. anders, dr. kara, senior information scientist and co-director at the center for decision making under uncertainty. mr. gill pratt, ceo at toyota research institute and mr. joseph opaku, who is the vice president of public policy at lyft. we appreciate you being here today. when we begin the round of questions we'll start with mr. ableson and you'll have five minutes. we appreciate you again being with us today. >> thank you.
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good morning. i'm the vice president of global mobility strategy for general motors. i want to thank the chairman and ranking members, subcommittee members for inviting me to tell you more about general motors' vision for the coming transformation and the opportunity that self driving vehicles hold for the american public. i would like to relate a personal story that has struck very close to the heart of myself and my general motors' colleagues. this last september, one of our colleagues, steve kiefer, suffered an incredible tragedy. his son was returning to college after spending a weekend at home when he was struck and killed by a distracted driver. watching steve and his family go through this terrible, avoidable loss, has just increased the determination of those who know steve to make this technology available as soon as it's ready
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so we can avoid these losses in the future, but unfortunately steve is not alone. 10% of vehicle fatalities are due to distracted driving. more than 30% of fatalities involve a drunk driver. 28% of fatalities are speed related. vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for children and adults ages 4 to 34. with 94% of fatal crashes caused by human behavior, there's tremendous potential to do much better. self driving cars won't drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol. they won't be distracted by a cell phone. they won't drive drowsy or recklessly and their speeds will be appropriate to the conditions at hand. for years auto makers have committed our resources to protecting passengers when crashes do happen. today, through the continuing development of this technology, we have the opportunity to avoid
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crashes all together. not only are we committed to building safe and reliable self driving vehicles, we also believe that self driving vehicles will provide tremendous benefits to society in terms of convenience and quality of life. such vehicles will provide unprecedented access to transportation to those who need it most like people with disabilities, those in underserved neighborhoods with limited access to public transportation and the elderly. general motors is incredibly opt mostic about the future of mobility. auto makers are faced with a tremendous opportunity to create a new model for personal transportation that changes the way society thinks about the automobile and we are rising to the challenge. in june of last year gm began testing self driving cars on public roads in arizona, the urban center of san francisco and in december we announced we would begin testing in metro
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detroit. we have more than 50 vehicles testing in these cities today with more planned in the future. gm will produce the next generation of our test driving vehicles at our plant in michigan. the vehicles will allow us to accelerate the testing of this exciting new safety technology. expansion of our real world self driving vehicle testing program will allow us to deploy self driving vehicles within carefully defined parameters and boundaries through ride sharing projects. the safety of our customers is our driving principal. developing self driving technology to uphold this standard is our top priority. our test vehicles currently have a person behind the wheel to monitor and evaluate performance. the safety data gathered will provide data to prove that our vehicles are ready to operate without a human driver. current federal motor vehicle safety standards have severed
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t served the public for years but technology has lagged behind. without changes to those regulations, it may be years before the promise of today's technology can be realized and in the meantime thousands of deaths could have been prevented. at the same time, we understand that we must be able to prove to our customers, our regulators and the american public that our vehicles are safe. kni nitsa has begun implementing self driving vehicles and it's imperative that manufacturers have the ability to test these vehicles to deploy the vehicles. one good way to accomplish this goal is to grant the secretary of transportation authority to grant specific exceptions for
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highly automated vehicle development. this authority would be similar to authority currently provided under existing law. during this hearing alone another eight people will have died on u.s. roads. eight more families that have to experience the painful loss that our colleague steve did. this is far too great of a cost to our nation and our citizens and we are within reach of a solution. we look forward to working with the committee to help create the right policy framework to bring this technology to our roads as quickly and safely as possible. while we have more to learn, our self driving vehicles are getting smarter each week and we are anxious for the public to be able to experience the technology firsthand. let me be very clear. our priority is and always will be the safety our passengers and fellow road users. thank you for your time today and i look forward to answering any questions that the members of the committee might have.
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>> thank you very much for your testimony. the chair recognizes for five minutes mr. karbar. >> thank you. i'm vice president of government affairs at volvo cars. volvo came to the u.s. in 1955 and last year we sold 81,000 cars here. we employ about 10,000 people with 300 direct employees in new jersey. next year we will open our first american factory in south carolina. this will add up to 4,000 jobs during the years thereafter. our factory will be the first all new american car factory in ten years. safety is the principal for volvo cars. we invented the three-point safety belt and we waved the patent so our belts would save
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lives. our mission is no one should be killed or seriously injured in a volvo by 2020. we are very excited about the benefits of self driving cars will bring. roads will be safer. it's been said many times, but cannot be overstated, over 94% of all crashes are due to human error. self driving cars will be important to reduce crashes. also self driving cars will free up idle time for the driver to do something more productive while being in the car. our vision is to every year give back one week of quality time to volvo commuters by 2025. however, going forward there are some very important preconditions. technology must be safe. consumers must trust it. the proper national framework must be in place. these preconditions are fundamental when we bring this technology to market. the first self driving volvo will be an suv.
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it will be offered to customers in selected cities in the u.s., europe and china in 2021. the cars will be capable to operate unsupervised during normal traffic conditions on designated commuter roads only. our approach is not to provide unsupervised driving anywhere, any time. instead, we start with less complicated conditions where consumer benefits are the highest. thereafter, step-by-step, we open up for more complex traffic as technology matures. when we develop these cars, we take a comprehensive approach. ground work engineering is based on our extensive experience from developing active safety and driver support systems. we design systems that are critical for safety with redundansy. we produce historical testing from data from crashes.
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we will start behavioral testing this year in sweden. we plan to extend those to london and china. we cooperate with uber on engineering the hardware. our intention is to test ourselves also in the u.s., but the patchwork of state regulations is a concern. in just the last two months, at least 15 new bills have been introduced in 20 states. this started to become a problem already in 2015 when we publicly called for federal guidelines. last year we got them. the federal automated vehicle poli policy, a very positive initiative, even if it needs several improvements. what can congress do? first to accelerate safety improvements, technologies should be rated. the u.s. is behind other major markets having already done this. active safety systems are building blocks of self driving
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cars. they take partial control when cars risk a crash and would help build consumer confidence in unsupervised driving. second, congress should encourage nitsa to update the fapd with an explicit request, that the states refrain from legislating and regulating self driving cars. third, congress should consider incentives for states to adopt the model state policy. a patchwork will delay making roads safer in america. it's also a competitive disadvantage. this is a race for jobs. i've discussed regulation with politicians in the u.s., europe and china. six years ago i put the u.s. in the lead. seeing the patch work, i'm not so sure. thank you for the opportunity to testify. i will take any questions later. >> thank you very much for your testimony today. the chair recognizes for five
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minutes dr. ray. thank you. >> thank you for the opportunity to testify today on the safety and testing of autonomous vehicles. rand is a nonprofit research institution. my spouse is the co-founder of a silicon valley start up working on driverless vehicles. public crashes pose a threat in the united states. as a society we want them to be as safe as possible as quickly as possible, but they probably won't eliminate all crashes and they may introduce new safety risks. today i'd like to describe challenges that stand in our way and then i'll propose some solutions. the first challenge is that there isn't yet a practical way
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to prove that autonomous vehicles are safe before they're allowed on the road for consumer use. the second challenge is there's no consensus how safe they should be so we don't know what tests these vehicles take or what constitutes a passing grade. real world driving experience is crucial for improving safety, but this presents a third risk. learning in real world settings presents risks to users from which late adopters would benefit. teenagers may not be good drivers, but they need experience to become safe drivers and in the meantime they pose risks to themselves and others. we may need similar policies for autonomous vehicles in their teen-age years. there's a clear role for sound policy making and i'll make three recommendations. i recommend that we rapidly
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develop methods of testing safety. these methods can be developed by researchers, academiacademic they need to be vetted. it's not enough for testing methods to exist. second i recommend building them into a flexible regulatory framework that specifies what level of safety performancea n autonomous vehicles need to meet. a lower threshold may be okay to improve their performance in controlled environments. as with teen-age drivers the fame work should balance the need for experience with the need to protect the public from risks and the framework should be revised as the technology evolv evolves. such a framework would fall under nitsa jurisdiction, but
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should be developed with the industry and the public. nitsa has released federal policies for autonomous vehicles, but they don't specify tenness testing methods or performance requirements. a regulatory framework like the one i'm proposing will take time and in the interim i suggest that strategic pilot studies and data sharing could help. pilot studies could start in controlled conditions and then could be expanded if safety is demonstrated. risks can be lowered by designing and operating vehicles so if a crash does occur, the risks are lowered. by limiting vehicle speed or ensuring that all pilot study passengers buckle up. developers already use the experiences of a single vehicle in their fleet to improve the performance of the entire fleet. this could occur faster if experiences could be shared across the industry to improve the entire technology.
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there's concerns about protecting trade secrets and also about ensuring that the right data is shared and it's useful, but these concerns could be addressed and they should be addressed so they can be balanced with the need for safe driving. we can't predicted what the future of this technology will be on transportation safety, but we can shape that trajectory with well designed policies. i want to thank you for the opportunity to testify today. thank you for allowing me to appear before you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much for your testimony today. the chair recognizes for five minutes dr. pratt. >> chairman, members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. my name is gill pratt. i'm the ceo of the toyota research institute. before working for toyota, i was a program manager in the area of
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robotics at d.a.r.p.a. we focus on the development of artificial intelligence and related technologies. it was formed in january of 2016 with a five-year $1 billion commitment from toyota. it is located in the united states with the headquarters in california and additional teams in michigan and massachusetts. t.r.i. is focused on the development of autonomous vehicles. we're pursuing a system called guardian and a system called chaufer. we're testing and refining both options because they have the potential to save lives, our
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hope is to deploy these systems as soon as possible, but only once we know they can be deployed safely and responsibly. society tolerates a significant amount of human error on our roads. we are all, after all, only human. yet human beings show nearly zero tolerance for injuries or tests caused by machines. so the question is, how safe is safe enough, for this autonomous technology to be deployed. as we sit here today, it is not clear how this measure will be devised or by whom. before developers can complete testing of these systems and deploy the technology, policy makers such as yourselves will need to answer this foundational question. policy makers must also keep in mind that testing is a necessary means to an end. the goal is to develop a vehicle that can save lives and improve the efficiency of our roads. we cannot reach that goal unless we're able to test our technology in real world environments including on public roads.
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testing is what will allow us to determine when our technology achieves a sufficient level of performance and is ready for deployment. one of the most significant challenges that we face is the patchwork of policy initiatives at the state level. many of the other witnesses refer to the same thing. under a patchwork of inconsistent state laws, autonomous vehicle technology may need performance requirements in one state, and not in another state. such a situation will impede the ability of a developer to test the same system across multiple states, slowing the development and deployment of the policy. it should advance a single national framework with appropriate safeguards. we believe that the federal automated vehicle policy that was released by ntsa was an important step for federal leadership in this area. but we also believe that are several areas that should be addressed before the policy is fully implemented. this includes clarifying that
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ntsa does not intend for states to regulate vehicle performance. with the applicability of the testing vehicles by traditional automakers and reassessing the need to submit a new assessment for each significant update to a prototype. the reason for the last comment is that we develop these systems very quickly, and it will create tremendous red tape to have to submit that assessment every single time that a change is made. there has also been growing discussion of the need for data sharing. we support the goals of data sharing, but we also believe there's a significant amount of work to be done to ensure that it does not create paradoxic al incentives to avoid difficult test conditions which would actually worsen safety, not improve safety. we look forward to working with other stakeholders to determine how to share data in the most practical and effective manner. before closing, i would like to provide a couple of additional observations. first, with regard to testing.
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the truth is, that millions of physical test-driven miles are necessary, but they are probably not sufficient to achieve the reliability that we need for autonomous vehicle technology. particularly if those test-driven miles are through easy or predictable routes. all testing miles are not created equal. and developers should be focused on testing scenarios where driving is challenging or even exceedingly difficult. we believe with adequate evidence, computer simulation of billions of test miles are needed to accelerate and expand the range of testing of these systems, and that these simulated miles, if they're valid, should be an acceptable equivalent to real world testing. finally, it's important that the federal government begin looking beyond testing to deployment of these systems. this includes updating the federal motor vehicle safety standards to address the handful of standards inconsistent with autonomous vehicle technology.
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i thank you very much for your time. and look forward to working with you to advance this important technology. most of all, i look forward to taking your questions. thank you. >> thanks very much. and for your testimony today. and the chair now recognizes for five minutes mr. okpaku for five minutes. thank you for being here today. >> thank you, chairman lotta, and congresswoman dingle and members of the subcommittee. i am the president of government relations for lyft. thank you for the opportunity to testify on this important topic. lyft was the first company to establish peer-to-peer on-demand ride sharing and is currently the fastest growing ride share company in the united states. it connects nearly 18 million people per month with efficient, affordable and safe rides in over 250 communities across the state. -- across the country. lyft was founded with the mission of improving lives by offering the world's best transportation and in less than
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five years we've proven to be a powerful driver of positive change with respect to economic empowerment, enhancing the efficiency of public transportation, and connecting communities that were previously underserved by prior transportation options. the proof is in the data. since our launch in 2012, lyft has worked to reduce traffic and congestion, increase mobility options, prevent duis, stimulate local economies, and provide economic opportunities to our drivers. and this is only the beginning. autonomous vehicles hold the tremendous potential to not only further improve the quality of life for our users, but also to literally save the lives by decreasing the frequency and severity of motor vehicle accidents. lyft's commitment to testing and deploying abs is rooted in the belief that the inherent safety ben fitsd of autonomous vehicles should be affordable and available to all sectors of the public, regardless of income, geography or disability. furthermore, lyft believes the introduction of avs will
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fundamentally transform cities and the way people move around them. the convergence of ride sharing is a tool for a perfectly efficient transportation network that will reduce the need for car ownership, particularly for segments of the population that have limited access to transportation options due to age, infirmity or disability. as consumers engage with the lyft platform, we'll see fewer cars on the road, less congestion and increased positive environmental impacts. a world with fewer cars provides a tremendous opportunity to reorient, reimagine and redesign our urban fabric. cities of the not too distant future can be built around people instead of cars. they could and should be defined by communities and connections, not pavement and parking spots. they could and should include common spaces where culture can thrive, and where new ideas can
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be shared in the very places where cars previously stood parked and empty. lyft stands at the center of this coming transportation revolution as we believe the transition to an autonomous future will not be through individually owned cars, but it will be more practical to rely on autonomous vehicles when they're part of a ride sharing fleet. we want to operate a pilot that will permit consumers to enjoy for the very first time a lyft in an autonomous vehicle. however, there are very serious challenges to be faced in bringing the full value of autonomous vehicles to the market for mass consumption. the greatest obstacle is restrictive regulations. the worst possible scenario as the growth of the autonomous vehicles is inconsistent and conflicting patchwork of state, local, municipal and county laws that will hamper efforts to bring av technology to the market. it's well on the way to becoming
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reality. since the beginning of the year, over 20 states have filed nearly 60 bills to regulate the testing and deployment of avs. while most of the bills are well intentioned, it's our position the states should not rush to regulate the technology. if a state does take regulatory action with respect to avs, such action should be removing impediments and creating a neutral playing field. in order to facilitate the continued innovation, testing and development of avs by all industry participants, i would urge congress to examine two potential avenues for action. the first is revising ntsa's exemption authority to allow more vehicles to be on the road for testing and deployment purposes. the second is directing ntsa to begin a rule making process to update the standards to accommodate the development, deployment and introduction into commerce of avs at a commercial scale.
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lyft looks forward to working with the members of this committee to make sure avs can be tested and deployed safely and efficiently in communities all across the country. the tremendous po teng that avs offer to save thousands of lives, to increase transportation to so many, to reduce congestion and to reorient our communities for the better around people, not cars, is an achievable near-term reality. with the collective effort, we can all ensure that this potential is reached. thank you again for the opportunity to testify today, and i'm happy to answer any questions that you might have. >> and thank you very much for your testimony today. we appreciate it. and that will conclude the opening statements from our witnesses. the chair now recognizing himself for five minutes to begin the questioning of our witnesses. again, we appreciate you all for being here. mr. abelson, if i could start my questions with you. can you discuss gm's timeline for deploying self-driving cars?
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>> pull that mike right up there. >> we currently have deployed in three cities vehicles that are operating at a level 4 automation with drivers in them. we are collecting data on how the vehicles operate. when we have convinced ourselves that the vehicles are operating properly, and are at a level that would inspire confidence in the technology, we will then make those vehicles available for members of the public to experience. at that pointed we'll continue to collect data on a wider scale. and only when we have collected enough data to convince ourselves that we're truly ready to go driverless, will we then remove the drivers from the vehicles and let them operate as self-driving vehicles. >> let me follow up. cybersecurity is a huge issue out there across what we deal with in this subcommittee, and across the congress today.
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can you tell me, or go into detail how you're looking at ensuring against cyber threats? >> cybersecurity is an issue that general motors takes very seriously. we have, of course, have had the onstar service for 20 years, so we're not new to the connected vehicle space. but specifically around cybersecurity, we were also the first automaker to appoint a chief product cybersecurity officer who reports both to the ceo and to the board of directors. we were also a founding member of the auto isac, an industry committee to share best practices, and learning on cybersecurity. jeff is our cybersecurity officer and is also the vice chairman of the auto isac. it's an area we've been very active in. we work with companies from other industries, from the defense industry, the aerospace industry, to make sure we have the most concerning learnings, not just in the auto space, but
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in the industrial spaces wherever they are. >> thank you. mr. pratt, in toyota's comments to ntsa on its federally automated vehicles policy, toyota mentioned it would be deploying automated driving systems in a step-by-step manner as the technology matures and becomes available. would you walk us through what that step-by-step process looks like and how long you think it would take for that technology to mature to the point where it might be ready to be deployed? >> sure, i'd be glad to. first of all, we have a number of automated vehicle technologies that are already in our cars today. and these include the toyota safety sense system and the lexus safety system. automatic emergency braking is one of the types of this guardian system that i spoke about before, where the autonomy intervenes when the human is driving in order to prevent an accident. that's already happening now. we believe we're saving many
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lives as a result of doing so. now, as you desire to have the human being take less and less control of driving, and have the autonomy take over more control, you ascend up the sae levels that you may know about. and our plan is to be self-timed in this regard. we don't have a specific date as to when we're going to remove the driver from the car, much like gm, but rather we are going to test and to see when the system is safe enough to do so. and of course, this doesn't happen all of the time. it happens at the beginning, only some of the time, in certain areas, certain weather, certain traffic. at the beginning with human beings supervising the autonomy, and in the end that you can trust it enough so that you don't need a human being. there's no definitive date for those steps, but a step-by-step process of gradually removing the amount of supervision that's necessary by the driver eventually with the goal that no supervision is necessary, but checking each stage that the
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system is safe enough. >> thank you. mr. karrberg, a large part of the volvo brand has always been safety. how does this impact what volvo is doing before it puts a self-driving car on the street for testing and deployment? >> yes, safety is clearly a priority throughout the whole development process for these cars. so we're targeting 2021 for this. and in order to make the safety to come at the right point, we are doing a number of different approaches when it comes to engineering. first of all, we will engage fully in a major part into computer simulations. so we have a database of about 40,000 traffic accidents that have happened in the past with volvo cars. we'll take those, combine them with the data from the u.s., data from germany, and so that will be about 50,000 traffic accidents. we would put into the computer.
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we would also put in the computer, how can you avoid this accident when you have av technology. that is one input when we go forward. moreover, you have to test this on public roads to learn about the behavior on how customers really interact with this. and so we will step by step introduce to these drivers more and more advanced technologies. so we will plan to be ready by 2021. >> thank you very much. my time has expired. and the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, the ranking member of the full committee, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we've heard concern about the period before cars are fully autonomous, when there's still a driver, that that driver doesn't need to be active all the time. even if the driver is in front of the steering wheel, and trying to pay attention, if the
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car is doing most of the work, we know it's hard for the driver to stay engaged. someone suggested that we can see an uptick in accidents with vehicles that are relying on drivers to reengage in a split second. let me start with mr. karrberg. volvo has said it will skip level 3 automation, as i just described, and go from level 2 to level 4. can you explain that decision, and is it due to the fears that i just mentioned? >> we pretty much agree with you. at level 3, the driver -- the car is doing the driving. the car is doing the monitoring. but the driver is the fullback. so you could end up in situations where the driver has to take back the control. that could happen within seconds. we are concerned about the level 3 stage within sae, and therefore, we are targeting level 4 as the end game. >> okay. thank you.
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and dr. kalra, did you want to comment on that? >> i agree. there's evidence to suggest level 3 may show an increase in traffic crashes. so it is plausible for automakers to skip level 3. i don't think there's enough evidence to think it's prohibited at this time, but it does pose safety concerns that automakers are trying to avoid. >> thanks. let me go back to mr. karrberg. volvo said it will take complete liability at level 4. can you explain that decision? >> it is really not that strange. carmakers should take liability for any system in the car. so we have declared that if there's a malfunction to the av system when operating autonomously, we would take the product liability. >> okay. now, researchers and investigators have demonstrated that the threat of a hacker assessing and controlling a connected car is real.
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these reports, after vehicles have been access remotely, drivers are showing losing control of the vehicle's brakes, windshield wipers and more. how real is the threat of vehicle hacking especially in the autonomous context, and do you expect the nature of the threat to evolve as the technology develops? and then, also -- well, did you talk about this yet? dr. karrberg, would you respond to that? >> it is a very real threat. transportation is one of the areas that sees a lot of attention from hacking, because it is a -- it's a way to disrupt our transportation system tlsmt's a great concern there. and cybersecurity is not something that can sort of be shrink wrapped on top of the vehicle. there are so many parts that are in the vehicle it has to be baked in from the ground up.
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autonomous vehicles provide an avenue for terrorism as well, because there's a way to use these vehicles to, you know, the threat is no longer sort of suicide bombers, that blows themselves up, but vehicles that drive around. i don't want to overstate the risk at this time, but we have to think very broadly about cybersecurity not only as a hacking opportunity, but a terrorism opportunity. >> do you want to add a comment? >> sure. i completely agree with the point that because of the cybersecurity threat as we contemplate self-driving vehicles, we need to design the vehicles from the ground up with that threat in mind. certainly in our case, as we deploy the self-driving chevy bolts, they look like the bolts that we sell to retail customers, but we've gone very deep into the systems of the vehicle to make changes appropriate to ensure the cybersecurity in those vehicles. >> sure. go ahead. >> i wanted to add a little bit to that, too. toyota connected is a subsidiary
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of our company that's primarily focused on this with zach hicks as the ceo. toyota's presently the chair of the auto isac that was described before for sharing information about cybersecurity threats. i think it's important that as serious to understand that as serious as this threat is, there are also mitigations that we can employ. and first of all, to make sure that the safety technology on the car does not depend on the wireless network in order to operate. so our philosophy is that all of the safety functions have to be self-sufficient on the car itself. and only information over the wireless network used to improve the efficiency of operation. >> mr. karrberg? >> i fully agree with the previous speakers. i want to talk about the approach to take to the cybersecurity also encompasses suppliers and dealers. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the chair now recognizes the
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vice chairman of the subcommittee, the gentleman from mississippi for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks to each of you for being here. what an exciting topic. i mean, this is remarkable. mr. abelson, i've got just a not too technical question, but let's say you've got your driver out of the self-driving car, it is self-driving, and i'm driving along and i come across something and i honk my horn. will it do any good? >> we haven't reached that point deciding how or whether it would be appropriate to have the vehicles react in what way to honking a horn. i would have to go back and ask the technical folks. >> there are so many interesting scenarios. >> there are a lot of interesting scenarios. >> on what's going to happen, and whether or not another car with a driver comes across a self-driving car without a driver in there, and they
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realize that, it will freak some people out. so how that's going to be dealt with will be the fun part of this process. >> absolutely. >> for me, this is so exciting on a personal level, because my wife and i have a son with special needs. he's 27. he works monday through friday. but he's completely dependent upon us for his transportation. either myself or almost always my wife, because i'm here, or our daughter, if for some reason she's out of town. so the possibilities are so good here for people in the disability community, particularly those like my son with an intellectual disability, that is great, very social individual. but limited in many ways to what he can do. so what this opens up for whether it's running errands, whether it's going to the grocery store, the bookstore that he loves, or getting to and from work.
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so as you look at that, can you elaborate one the work that gm is doing to provide this type of transportation, or this access in the future? i know you have discussed it. >> we have. and i agree with you, it's a very exciting opportunity for some of these communities. and while we recognize the potential benefits, there's a whole lot more work obviously that needs to be. however, inside general motors we have a specifically designated employee resource group composed of people with various physical challenges, and they're already working with our engineering group on the potential for self-driving vehicles going forward. so we look forward to continue to engage obviously internally with our own employees, but also with external groups on how to realize this potential for those communities. >> thank you. and thank you for that work. dr. pratt, can you also comment how your company's considering the needs of the disability
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community in the development and deployment of self-driving cars? >> yes, i would be very glad to. in fact, our president toyoda had a meeting with a blind person who asked him, can i enjoy the mobility of your cars as well? and suddenly the whole company decided to change its policy. i wanted to add one more part to this thing, too. because we have to not forget about aging society. right now, in the united states, 13% of our population is over age 65. because of the baby boom in 15 years, that fraction will grow from 13% to 20%. and this is an extraordinary thing. my sister and i had the experience of having to take away the car keys from my father. because he was now too elderly to drive. that's something i don't think anybody should have to go through. both of course for my father and also for the parents' children. our goal is to make that not have to happen in the future.
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>> thank you very much. mr. karrberg, can you answer that question about what volvo is doing for those with disabilities? >> we fully recognize the potential for self-driving cars to bring a happier life to disabled people and blind people and so on. every sunday i meet my father, who just turned 100 years. he asks me every time, when can i have this car. [ laughter ] but for volvo initially, we are targeting commuters, commuting, because we think that's the biggest interest from the skumgs are. consumers are. >> mr. okpaku, tell us how it works from the ride sharing perspective. >> one of the things we're pleased to see with lyft and ride sharing generally is the ability to provide options for the disabled community and for the elderly community. one of the initial challenges was especially with the elderly
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community was not everyone had a smartphone or felt comfortable using a smartphone. we adapted that process so you don't even need a smartphone to request a lyft. we've already heard from the disability community that it's increased their mobility, including the senior population, and to have the same impact with the autonomous vehicles, the role that ride sharing plays is bringing avs to the market that would address this issue in a broad and sweeping way. so lyft and ride sharing, we believe, do play a very specific role and very important role in ensuring that av technology can be deployed and used by those who most critically need it. >> thank you each so much. we look forward to the development and i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes for five minutes the ranking member of the subcommittee, the gentle lady from illinois. >> let me try this.
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so even though we're some time away, i think, for a fully self-driving cars on the road, but manufacturers have developed some very exciting safety technologies right now. from blind spot detection to rear seat notification, and i want to focus for a few minutes on those discreet technologies. last year, 39 children died from heatstrokes in cars. these are tragic accidents. and i've heard devastating stories from parents who will absolutely never be able to forgive themselves. last year, representative tim ryan, peter king and i introduced hot cars, a bill to equip new vehicles with rear seat notification to warn drivers that a passenger may be left behind. so, mr. abelson, what is gm
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doing to prevent child heat deaths? >> as you said, these are tragic circumstances. and gem motors has moved aggressively. we've already announced that we're implementing 17 -- excuse me, 2017 and 2018 models rear seat reminder system that through monitoring when a rear door is open on the vehicle, then when the ignition is turned off at the end of the journey, chimes sound and a message is put up on the instrument cluster reminding the driver to check the rear seat. we think this has been a very effective system to implement. and one that i'd say is already in production on many models. >> thank you. dr. pratt and mr. karrberg, are your companies working on technologies to prevent child heat deaths? >> thank you for raising this important issue. these are,ing, very tragic
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accidents. consumer education is very important in this field. however, what we have recently introduced as an option in our car is a vehicle motion sensor. it cannot sense heartbeats, but it can sense if an animal or child moves. i would be happy to provide for the protocol later on exactly how efficient these technologies are to protect our children. >> the problem, of course, is that often the baby is sleeping. and so there is no movement. dr. pratt? >> so, i run the research lab, so i don't know the particular details of the implementation. but i can speak to what we're doing research on. and so we are working on this issue, and in particular, we're working on systems that monitor the insides of the occupants in a car for any number of things. even if a person is sleeping, it turns out that there is research technology, again, i don't know when it will be fielded, which
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can amplify the very small motions that happen as a result of heartbeat, and changes in skin temperature as well. so there are ways that in the future we might do it. but i'd be glad to get you more information from the company in terms of when we're planning to field such things. >> we're going to reintroduce our legislation and i would appreciate all the manufacturers to take a look at our bill that would move into regulation. automatic emergency braking is another important safety technology. dr. pratt, in your testimony, you said that automatic emergency braking will be standard in almost every toyota model sold this year. how soon will toyota get to 100%? >> i'm not exactly sure. i believe it's a very small minority of models, some of which are in very unusual sizes. so very large trucks and things like that. i don't know the answer but i would be glad to get it to you.
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>> mr. abelson and mr. karrberg, what are your companies' time line for automatic braking? >> general motors agreed with the voluntary rollout that was proposed last year by ntsa and we're working aggressively to complete that. i'd be happy to get back to our people and send you the details. >> mr. karrberg? >> we've had emergency braking standard globally since 2013. on our large platform, the new cars coming out there, it is a very involved system that brakes not only for vehicles, pedestrians, but also cyclists and large animals day and night. >> so i had a couple of other questions about various technologies. but i guess the point i really want to make is that obviously some of these are available, and when they're not available in
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another manufacture. sometimes it's optional. sometimes it's standard. it seems to me that it would be great if we could harmonize these safety features, and make sure that if they really are saving lives, that they are standard. i'm not saying it always has to be exactly the same technology, but the same goal at the end of the day. so that we do develop these safety features. and i yield back. thank you. >> thank you. the gentle lady yields back. the chair now recognizes for five minutes the gentleman from new jersey. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and good morning to the distinguished panel. mr. karrberg, once automated driving systems are fully self-driving automobiles, are ready for use by the american people, how should manufacturers provide instructions and education to consumers about the proper use and limitations of these systems, or vehicles? >> yeah, that is clearly a
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priority, and that's why we start to introduce these vehicles at supervised levels already this year to about 100 real customers on railroads, to learn how they interact with the cars, what support they need in order to fully understand it. we will design the cars accordingly. >> would that require further testing of the public? would i have to go back to the state of new jersey and be tested further in this regard? >> we will do tests of how people behave in different areas. so we'll do tests in sweden right now, and we move on to -- we plan to move on to london and china and hopefully do it in the u.s. as well, to learn how different types of drivers interact with the cars. >> mr. abelson, gm? >> i think it's an important question, and i would say at
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general motors, we intend to roll out autonomous vehicles first in ride sharing fleets. >> in ride sharing did you say. >> ride sharing, yes. similar to a lyft fleet. one of the advantages is that it gives the public the opportunity to experience the technology without having to necessarily buy and own an autonomous vehicle. it also gives you the opportunity to book the ride, to provide the user the information they need on the autonomous vehicle. >> when do you estimate that this might be in use in gm's vehicles? >> as i said, we're doing testing on public roads right now. but to be honest, the exact date is going to depend on how quickly the data can be gathered, and we have to prove po both ourselves and our regulators that we're ready to go driverless. >> to the distinguished panel,
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do you believe that these automobiles will be used on all of our roads, or will they first be used on limited access highways, the interstate highway system for example? or other similar roads? dr. pratt? >> i'd be glad to take that. let me add on to the last question first with regard to driver education. i think education is absolutely key. and some of the issues are ones having to do with how much trust a driver puts in a system and learn not to undertrust or overtrust the autonomy that's there. whether or not it will need changes to the requirements for a license, we don't know yet. we'll still learn. but also keep in mind that we need to educate the public in terms of how they interact with these cars. think of the pedestrian choosing to cross the road. what should they expect the autonomous vehicle is going to do. we think that's very important as well. >> i was taught driver ed in jim class in high school.
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but the year i was taught that is a national security secret. [ laughter ] >> i'd like to address your question. >> mr. abelson? >> about will they expand to all roads. i believe over time, you will see them used on all roads. we're starting with the urban environments. >> new jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation. and obviously this is of interest to me representing new jersey because of the congestion that exists in this most heavily densely populated state in the country. >> i grew up in springfield, new jersey, so i know that. >> to my congressional district. darn glad to meet you. >> wonderful place. i think that that is very important. it is important, however, to realize that the ability of an autonomous car to go anywhere at any time no matter what the weather or traffic is what we call level 5. and as an industry, we believe it will be some time before we
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get to level 5. believe it or not, there are places in the world that are worse in terms of traffic congestion than new jersey. and so i think that we'll hit new jersey before we handle the whole world. but it is going to be in stages, with the easier cases coming first. >> thank you. and before i yield back in my time, i assume mr. karrberg, from sweden, you did not grow up in my congressional district. i yield back ten seconds, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair now recognizes for five minutes the gentle lady from michigan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as i mentioned in my opening statement, it's critical to ensure that automated vehicles are truly safe before they're available to consumers. but we also need to ensure there aren't any barriers that would prevent life saving technologies to bringing benefits to society as a whole. i want to be really clear here. we should never let an unsafe or unproven vehicle hit the road.
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so that our challenges, congress, is how to strike the right balance between supporting innovation and making sure the consumers are safe. so i know all of my colleagues are asking all the questions on the other side. so i do want to just get the record here on some things. so i have a few questions for all the members of the panel since i have limited time. and i would ask you to just answer yes or no. do you agree that federal vehicle motor safety standards need to be updated in order to support the deployment of automated vehicles? and let's just go down the row. >> yes, we do. >> we do. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> it's my understanding that a role making by ntsa to update safety standards will take several years. that rule making were to commence today, it's likely not to be completed by the time many
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in the industry have announced that you want to deploy automated vehicles. is that correct? >> yes, that's correct. >> yes. >> yes. >> i'm not sure. and the reason i'm not sure is that i would hope that ntsa, if the need were great enough, could speed up its actions. but if they couldn't, the answer is yes. >> yes. >> thank you. i love your faith in government. [ laughter ] understand ntsa has the authority to exempt motor vehicles from safety standards based on a number of factors. but this exemption authority is limited by law in amount and duration. could expanding this exemption authority provide interim path to automated vehicle deployment during the rule making we just discussed? >> yes, absolutely. >> yes. >> maybe. it's more complicated than the number of vehicles. right now there's no reason to believe that that limit is going to be hit. and equally important is to
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think about on what basis the exemptions would be granted given that most of the time when one requests an exemption, it's on the argument that the vehicles are -- they're seeing an exemption just as safe or safer. there's no way to show that. that would be an equal concern with the number of vehicles. >> that's an important point. >> we have the same concerns as the previous witness. >> the answer is yes, and very quickly i would say that the development and the expansion of the ride sharing industry where in 2012 there were only a few thousand rides being completed, and the next year millions of rides. it shows a demand for resources like this. so i would think it's a wholehearted yes. >> thank you. this question is for all the panelists but you're allowed more than yes or no. we've had a good discussion about a few proactive things that the federal government should be doing here. but in your opinion, are there any specific things that congress should avoid doing that would stifle the development
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about automated vehicles? >> speaking for general motors, we wouldn't want to see the government taking steps to specify specific technology or a specific solution. i think as long as we keep in mind that the goal is to prove that the vehicles are safer than drivers today, i think the ntsa guidelines published last year are a very good step in that direction in that they don't specify a technology, but specify what the expectations are before vehicles are deployed in a driverless fashion. >> mr. karrberg? you have like a minute and nine seconds. >> yes, we would not like congress to engage in traditional rule making, because that would stifle development. that would take much longer time, because this is an area where technology is developing very fast as you know. also, i agree with the gentleman from general motors, it's clear that technology in the trial is important.
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politicians should not be in the technology, that should be done by the industry. >> technology neutrality is important. and so is developing regulations that are adopted and flexible and designed to keep up. in terms of what they shouldn't do, i'm not specifically sure. >> i would agree with all the witnesses before, that evidence based approach is really the best one, where the government sets what the criteria are for performance and that that's done at the federal level. but does not dictate what the ways are to meet that particular level of performance. >> i concur with the general statements of the rest of the panel that it has to be concern about the most well intended law, inadvertently precluding or restricting innovations to make the technology even safer. >> i'm out of time. thank you. >> the gentle lady's time has expired, and the chair now recognizes the gentleman from kentucky for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank everyone for being here. i follow the automobile
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industry, and it's interesting to me, i understand i can conceptually figure this out even with driverless cars, standard conditions, everybody drives the speed limit and nobody blocks the left lane. but you've got to wonder how it's going to work if you're going to turn left and you're in the middle of the intersection there, and the oncoming traffic uses up all the yellow. or maybe this happened to somebody here, you're in the parkway coming from the airport, lined up to get on 395, like a good citizen, and somebody comes at the last minute and forces themselves right in front of you because they don't want to wait in line. nobody does that here, i'm sure. the question is, i guess my question first off, mr. abelson, does the car have to be perfect? do self-driving cars have to be perfect to allow them on the highway and how do we get to the point where they're safe enough that we allow them on the highway? >> i think the point is, there's no way to prove statistically that something's perfect. we have to agree on the metrics by which we're going to use to show that the vehicle is better
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than human drivers, and is, therefore, appropriate to start deploying without drivers. to your point, i think it's -- that's why this testing in real world is so important, because you'll see those real life conditions that we all deal with on a daily basis as human drivers. and we'll make sure that the vehicles can react appropria appropriately. >> mr. karrberg, if you would like to comment on that. what is your feeling of the level 3 car, is it safe? >> first of all i would like to comment on the traffic conditions you initially described here. that's not where we're going initially. those are complicated traffic conditions so we are targeting commuter roads in the beginning. because that's where the consumer interest is. and that's where the technology will arrive in 2021. sorry, next question was? >> just a comment on the level 3 cars. for example, whether you think they're safe? >> as i stated, at level 3, the
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car is driving, the car is doing the monitoring. however, the driver is still fullback. the driver may have to be able to take back control in a very short time. and that is far less safe than if you go to a level 4 car, where the level 4 car should be able to put the car into a safe mode, and unless the driver takes over the control. and should be able to predict the traffic so that that can be done in a safe manner. >> i guess the nature of your business, mr. mcclintock, is picking up people and run them around town. but i think what you're talking about, mr. karrberg, people commuting to work every day and people not be distracted because the car is taking care of that issue. but your guys are picking up people at hotels and dropping them off at capitol hill. so how do you see this working with driverless cars in that kind of environment?
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>> thank you for the question. lyft is looking at this from the view of the network. one of the things that we have the expertise in is how to manage literally thousands of cars that are all transporting different people around a particular city, and making sure they're doing so in the most efficient manner. for example, a car two blocks away from you going away is going to get to you quicker than a car four blocks away but headed in your direction. that's one of the areas of expertise we can bring to the av revolution, if you will, is making sure that it's operating on the most efficient manner, and that knowing how all these vehicles interact with each other most efficiently and safely to get the passengers where they're going. if you think about the reductions in traffic, reduct n reductions in congestion, i think the ride sharing platform is going to be very instrumental in ensuring that the benefits are gained. >> thank you. dr. pratt, my home state company, would you like to comment on what, or how safe it has to be safe to be safe? >> this is a question we're
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thinking about extremely deeply now. we feel that there may need to be a safety factor multiplying human performance. in other words, if an autonomous car is only slightly better than the average human driver, that may not be good enough. because emotionally, we can empathize with the human driver that has an accident, because that could have happened to us. on the other hand, when a machine makes a mistake, our empathy is much less. we don't know what the safety factor has to be. and what we would like is to work collaboratively with government to try to figure out what that answer is. but we worry it may not be 1, it may be that the public will not accept if let's say there are 35,000 fatalities a year, because of human driving, would the public accept 34,999 because of a machine. i think the answer might be no. so we don't know what factor needs to be there. >> thank you. i had more questions, but i'm out of time. i yield back the 7 seconds. >> thank you.
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the gentleman yields back the balance of his time, and the chair now recognizes for five minutes the gentle lady from california. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to switch a little bit here. many of you expressed concern with a potential for patchwork of different state standards for autonomous vehicles. as our state often is, california has been a leader in trying to develop a framework for safe testing and deployment of this technology. i do understand the need for laws and regulations to be flexible, and do encourage innovation, and california's northstar is always innovation. but at the same time i would be concerned about undermining safety and accountability standards, which i believe ultimately would harm not only the driving public, but consumer confidence in your products and services. i think that we can all agree that we need rules of the road. can each of you provide your perspective on where regulation might be needed at both the
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state and federal levels? starting here. >> i would say at general motors, we recognize that if a patchwork were to develop, especially on the technical sides of the issue that would be an issue for the industry. however, we've also seen some states have some thoughtful legislation that supports the development, like michigan did recently. with ntsa, we recognize that both the states and the federal government have a role to play going forward. and we look forward to working with the governments at all levels to rolling out the technology. >> the way forward we think is really the approach that ntsa has taken, with the federal automated vehicle policy. it's flexible. it's not traditional rule making which will go very slow. it's something in between. it's not perfect, but i think that is the way forward. >> i think federal regulations
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are needed to set both testing methods and what levels of safety are needed for different levels of deployment of autonomous vehicles. but states are really on the forefront of balancing the competing needs for this technology. in the interim for the federal regulations, i think it would be important for the federal government to provide support to states in developing regulations that aren't contradictory and that pave the way for those federal regulations. and the policies that were put forward last year take a first step towards that. >> thank you. >> i agree with some of the members of the panel here that really, it's the federal government that we believe should take the leading role. to be very clear, we totally support very rigorous regulation of this, very high standards for safety. but we think it's important that there be one standard. that it not be a patchwork of different standards. i want to give an example of what might go wrong. it actually comes from california where we have one of our labs. and as you may know in california, there's a requirement if you're doing
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autonomous car development, that you report to the government what your disconnection rate is, every time that the car has a failure of a certain kind. that's not such a bad idea. but that information then becomes publicly available. it creates a perverse incentive. and the incentive is for companies to try to make that figure look good, because the public's watching. and that perverse incentive then causes the company to not try to test the difficult cases, but test the easy cases to make their score look good. we think it's very important to have deep thought about this kind of issue before these rules are made, and we think that concentrating that thought in the federal government is the best idea. >> thank you for the question. and if i can just touch briefly on the patchwork of state legislation very quickly. this is something where ride sharing has a unique experience in this. because over the last three or four years, we've seen the ride sharing industry go from unregulated to wholly regulated. what we were seeing are cities
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that are next to each other literally implementing ordinances that conflicted with each other where a vehicle could not pick up a passenger in one city and drop them off in another city. luckily that's a situation that has been resolved. so the concern that the members of this panel are expressing with respect to patchwork of regulations is a very real one, and one that we experience vd recently. to the heart of your question, i agree with the general sentiment of this panel that some of the proposed regulations we're already seeing, we're seeing proposals that would infringe upon the federal government's, you know, realm and expertise in regulating safety standards. i think that's something that's rather dangerous. if i was going to encourage a state to focus on anything, it would be focusing on making sure that they were not infringing upon that which is of the province of the federal government. >> okay. i also understand what you're talking about. but i always believe the state
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should be the test for innovation to a great degree here. other than what you said, are there any specific concerns about california's testing regulations? i live in sacramento, so i live where the governor lives. it would be nice to have this information. >> so from my perspective, the reporting of disconnections -- >> i think i've heard that, yes. >> i just wanted to say, i don't agree that necessarily the reporting in california would encourage companies to do easier testing. we certainly are testing in a very difficult environment and making the data public anyway. >> i'm unaware of the details of california, but it has an onerous reporting. it is a very, very comprehensive data sharing requirement. >> all right. yeah, i think i've heard from you. i've run out of time. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. the gentle lady's time has expired. the chair now recognizes for five minutes the gentleman from west virginia. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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as one of just two licensed engineers in congress, this is an intriguing process that we're going to undergo. i'm fascinated with that. but i've got a series of questions, i don't know how in the time frame we're going to get through all of them, but one of them is, since i've learned that we were going to have this hearing, i've tried to do a little bit more reading about this. and i don't see so far, i don't see anything about third-party certification for public safety, putting public safety first over riding competitive pressures. do we have some provision that will require a third party, like an ivnv that we have before this process advances much further? quick answers if i could. >> i'm not aware there's any requirement at the moment for a third party. >> okay. the second, are there going to
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be global standards? because i've heard mention europe and china -- are we going to adopt standards that are comparable, and is that under way so that we would be able to sell american cars to china, avs over there? >> i would have to say our experience in the automotive industry over some time is, we don't get global standards. that the regulating bodies tend to move in similar, but don't know the detailed directions. >> one thing i've not heard also is -- i'm a little concerned about a lack of global standards. it's cost. no one has mentioned cost up here. what is the projected additional cost per vehicle that could be -- now, i guess you could probably answer it, that depends whether you go to level 2, 3, or 4. i understand that.
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but not fundamentally level 1 where we are right now. what are some cost projections that we're facing, and is the overall goal that it will be universal, or will be an option that i as a buyer can choose not to have automated? dr. pratt? >> so, the costs presently are very high. in the many thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars. part of the reason that you're seeing a push to use it in ride share systems at the beginning is there you can amortize the cost over a higher utilization of ride share vehicles. however, we should keep in mind the incredible rate of decreasing costs in the electronics industry, particularly with scale. think about your cell phone and the cost of the camera inside your cell phone which rivals some of the best cameras you could buy for personal or professional use in the past. these now cost pennies to put inside of a cell phone. so we don't know the actual
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numbers. but we are confident the costs will decrease very rapidly. >> maybe at the end, do you see this as something that is going to be universal? or is this always going to be an option for your car? >> it will start as option, and eventually 10, 15 years out, it will -- some things will be standard. >> it will be standard? >> yeah. >> okay. the last, because i heard some very interesting arguments, very heart-wrenching and the like. so is the automobile through this autonomous process, will that put us into entitlement program? or is this something that's a privilege, to be able to have a car? >> that's one of the reasons why, again, lyft is really
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intrigued about autonomous vehicle technology, because we believe the only way to ensure that it can be equitiably provided to all segments of so soy ti to have it on all platforms. that's lyft's interest in this committee hearing today. >> i think maybe it was in your testimony that you said everyone should have this available to them. >> exactly. >> that sounds like an entitlement. my concern, of course -- i'm just in a very short time i have left is, i'm just curious, everyone's been talking from 30,000 feet. i don't understand, is someone going to get in one of these cars, let's say they're going to level 4 or level 5, and they're going to program something in, take me to destination x, and it gets you there? you sit back and enjoy? is that really -- >> yes, that's basically the goal. as we said, it will take a long time before it gets everywhere, for everyone. >> again, my curiosity is, will
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you be able to interact with your car? do you see that visually as you're driving down -- you get a phone call or e-mail or something and pick up milk on the way, and you have to stop and go get milk. will you be able to tell your machine to pull into that? >> absolutely. in fact, your machine may know the closest place to get milk and suggest a destination to you. >> fascinating. as i said, i think this is intriguing. and it's as one of the two engineers, i'll be following how it proceeds with this. but also getting the costs down so it is affordable for more people. yes? >> just to comment on cost. yes, it will be expensive at start but come down in cost in the ultimate years. but the cost on fender benders, insurance is likely to go down, and the economy will be improving. >> in closing, i hope you also take a look of the fuel efficiency. i know from an engineering
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perspective, that people use cruise control use more gas than otherwise. i would assume that one of the fundamental focuses on this will be using a form of cruise control on your car, and i'm questioning whether or not this is going it be fuel efficient. it may save lives but i'm not buying into the argument of fuel efficiency. >> i would just add it's one of the reasons we're rolling out the technology on electric vehicles. we think self-driving technology and electric vehicles make a lot of sense. >> i've gone over time. i apologize. yield back. >> the gentleman's time has expired. and the chair now recognizes the je gentleman from texas for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you and the ranking member for this hearing today because a lot of us have heard about self-driving cars. i think my wife might be the one because she always complains about my driving. so, but i guess we wouldn't have to use ways to find out where we need to get the closest milk. but ensuring the safety of our
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constituents is our primary concern. and what used to be science fiction is fast approaching reality. but that's, you know, for the last 50 years we've seen so many different changes. while the technology -- benefits society like any other new groundbreaking device, there are risks and precautions that need to be considered. i look forward to talking about this. dr. karrberg, you talked about the many approaches of testing these vehicles, real-world driving experience may be one of the most important tools for improving autonomous vehicle safety. sharing of data between large groups of vehicles can quickly improve this overall safety of the group based on the knowledge accumulated by each individual car. you mentioned at tesla, calls this fleet learning. can you tell us more an what fleet learning is and what it can play in a role of improving autonomous auto vehicle safe
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city? >> sure, thank you for the question. the idea of fleet learning what is fundamental to autonomous vehicles they're improved where computers are designed to learn better ways of behaving or performing without being explicitly programmed to do so. to do that, they gather enormous amounts of data and use learning algorithms to improve their performance. so companies like tesla are using this so every experience that an individual vehicle has is being fed back into the system and the entire fleet can be upgraded continuously and in fact, most developers of this technology are using that technique. and the question is whether that is limited to -- that kind of learning is limited to an individual developer or whether there are opportunities for learning across developers. it's not clear, you knows, i agree with dr. pratt that kind of data sharing needs to be
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thought through carefully, but just as the aviation industry has shown us, sharing experiences can be an essential tool in improving safety quickly. >> you compare risk of the early autonomous vehicles learning from the real-world experience of teenage drivers. they may not be good drivers yet, but the experience and practice they would develop into good drivers, although i would probably submit today with our distracted driving, we could all be 15 or 16-year-olds trying to drive because we have so many options today for distractions. restrictions on learners permits and minimum age driver requirements are interesting to mitigate the risk of teenage drivers. you is a similar requirements for early autonomous vehicles would be needed. what do you imagine some of the safety requirements or restrictions would look like when it comes to self-driving cars? >> well, it doesn't necessarily need it to be requirements but of the things my colleagues here have described, for example, limiting their driving to commuter roads or at low speeds.
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there are many ways to reduce risk. either reducing the likelihood that a crash occurs which means restricting their operation, for example, to good weather or reducing the consequences of a crash and these can be sort of industry-developed ideas and choices or may be something that down the line is done through regulation to say, these are the ways in which we're going to start rolling out. that's an open question, but essentially reducing risk, even if we can't quantify what the risk of autonomous vehicles right now is an important step. >> in your mind, what does the history of the airbag regulation teach us about safety regulations for autonomous vehicles? obviously, i think we share you create a bureaucracy that's -- that may not be effective and it may take a long time to get the correct things. >> you know, if anything, airbag regulations tell us this is extremely complicated. it's difficult to get right. but it's also very important. you know, airbags were developed in the 1950s.
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pate patented. they were first bro zeintroduce high-end models in the '70s. they were first required in 1999. that took a long time. one can argue some mistakes were made along the way because airbags were not smart. airbags we have today, they were designed to protect an unbelted male passenger and the force of doing so would have, for example, killed someone like me. now we know better. the difficulty is that that was learned through experience and deployment of the technology that was available at the time. so there's this con flick flict getting safe technology on the road and learning ways it's not safe. airbag regulation is instructive in it suggests we should temper our optimism and we need to proceed very carefully and thoughtfully. >> mr. chairman, with my one second left, obviously we have some problems with our airbags, but i field back my time. >> thank you very much. the gentleman's time has expired
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and the chair now recognizes the gentleman from florida for five minutes. i'll let you get to your chair. >> mr. pratt, we heard a lot about vehicle-to-vehicle communication to previous -- in previous hearings on this subject of autonomous vehicles. where does the work you are doing on v-to-v communication fit into the overall blueprint of deploying self-driving cars? >> vehicle-to-vehicle as well as vehicle-to-infrastructure communication is of critical importance to autonomous vehicles. of course, we drive, using our own eyes, to see other vehicles but the potential is there for autonomous vehicles to use not only the sensors on the vehicle, itself, but also sensors on
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neighboring vehicles in order to see the world better. and so, for example, if you're going around a corner and there's some trees or a building that's blocking the view, vehicle-to-vehicle communication can give you the equivalent of x-ray vision because you're seeing not only your view, but also the view from other cars as well. it's going to be pretty hard to make a vehicle that is safe in all conditions. that's this level five vehicle that we keep talking about. and the standards may have very high because, again, it's a machine that's going to be running this, not a human being. so our ability to empathize and forgive will be low. so we have to give ourselves every possible tool in the tool chest in order to try to solve this problem. so i think that vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, is extremely important and that saving the spectrum for that use is also very important. >> thank you very much. mr. okpaku, forgive me if i
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mispronounced your name. the problem sb safes and safety of self-driving cars are significant. we already talked about the potential benefits in the disability community which could apply to the elderly community as well. especially in our community -- i represent the tampa bay area in the state of florida. there are many veterans and elderly individuals that could benefit from this technology to get the things -- well, maybe they want to get to their medical appointment. so i can see a lot of benefits there. in lyft's view, what are societal and economical benefits we could expect to see from the development of self-driving cars? >> thank you for the question. we often talk about the benefit lyft has financially for drivers. one of the things i think often gets lost in the conversation is how important transportation is for economic upward mobility on the passenger side. meaning that one of the biggest
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factors for economic opportunity is access to reliable and quick transportation so we've already seen some of the impacts we've had, we believe on the customer side, just by providing safe and quick and reliable options to job to get to and from work that previously didn't exist. so if you buy that concept and you apply it across a grand scale that an a.v. platform can provide, i think the economic opportunity that it confers is really significant and can really help a lot of people who are economic need get to and from their jobs that they otherwise would take maybe an hour or two to get to because they have to rely on insufficient public transportation options. in addition. i would also echo what you already mentioned in terms of the ability for nonemergency medical transportation, we've seen ride-sharing partner with organizations on that front already. think the ability to do that at an even greater rate and more efficient rate expands once you include autonomous vehicle technology into the mix. >> very good.
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thank you. mr. karrberg, it's been suggested that nist ishtsa's fe policy welcome action and show federal leadership, it may contain guidance that has unintended consequences of delaying the development, tes testing and deployment of self-driving cars in the united states. can you comment on that and how ambiguous -- the ambiguities and the guidance document should be resolved. >> there are a number of issues and questions regarding the fabp. first of all, i will comment as well on the patchwork. the fapb does not defer from the patchwork. also requirements on reporting on hardware and software changes that you do during the course of the testing. that is difficult because in engineering, you do iterations all the time and you report every one of those. that's practically impossible.
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so these should be limited to major changes. there's also a waiting period for -- you hand in your change and there's a four-month waiting period. there that's also onerous. it also calls for certification, preapprovals. it's worked for 30 years. and we see no reason to change that. we also think for the fabp, nhtsa has expertise, also staffing to cater for and be able to judge on the development so nhtsa, it, will not be mart of the potential delays. >> thank you very much. well, i know my time has expired but if dr. pratt wanted to say something, i don't know, plmr. chairman, is that permissible? >> i'll make it short. we agree very much with what the last witness said. >> thank you. i yield back.
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>> the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentle laidly from california for five minutes. >> we talked about a need for state-by-state patchwork of laws for autonomous vehicles which would slow innovation and stifle this important technology. while i appreciate mrs. matsui's concern about california, i think we need to kor thconsider impact on state regulation. i saw it up close in my ten years in the california state legislature and i've seen thousands of our most productive businesses and citizens flee for more friendly states. within these last few months, the trend was extended to a.v. when uber moving its testing to arizona after california took action to make the state's regulatory regime less hospitable. the ironic thing is that i can think of few states that would benefit more from this technology considering its
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promi promise, congestion mitigation, the ability to move products inland from the west coast ports. even at the federal level, nhtsa suggested, the cause of some states pulling back, welcoming regulatory environments for a.v. mr. okpaku, can you give me practical example where a state or local law or regulation impacted lyft's a.v. testing? >> thank you very much for the testing. i can give you examples of where we're concerned about the ability of these local legislation and local regulations to impact testing. for example, as of right now in california there is only one explicitly allowed location, or there's a proposal that would make testing limiting to one part of california and if that legislation were to pass, then the ability to test a.v. in different environments and
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dich different situations would be extremely hampered. the bill hasn't passed yet. it has been introduced. that's a cause of concern. we're not at the point where any legislation we're concerned about has actually been enact the but seen enough proposed legislation across the country whether it's in massachusetts, all way from massachusetts, california, that does raise that exact concern that if enacted it would unintentionally but definitely inhibit our ability to roll out and test and deploy. >> okay. thank withdrew veyou very much. i yield back the balance of my time. >> the gentle lady yields back the plan of her time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to all of you have testified here. i spent a fair amount of time reading up this on subject. i must commend each of you because i feel your testimony which i have had the time to read through really does lay out the issues that are in front of us as policymakers in a very thoughtful way so that we can go
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about facilitating this technology with you to the public's benefit and each of you i think lay out what the various publ public benefits that enure from this. i think each of you also lay out a little bit differently, but nevertheless, the central question here as being are we erecting or are there regulatory barriers or is the regulatory framework that's in place facilitative for your technology to be tested so that we can expedite increasing safety, reducing carbon emissions, et cetera, et cetera. my question, first question, which i'll just sort of lay out to all of you, is similar to miss walters and that -- a little by different li
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little bit limdifferently, with respect to the state patchwork, most of us think would head in the wrong direction and mindful that i think preemption occurs here but perhaps the regulatory language maybe is a little too open-ended and enables some states to stick their head in a window which they're not allowed to stick their head into that window because they should be focused on the drivers, not on the vehicle. are you aware of any reciprocity agreements between states that facilitate testing or deployment of self-driving cars across state lines? that's the first question. i think that's important, too, because as some of the testimony has reflected, you need to test this technology in a lot of different topographical, climate and urban, rural circumstances in order to know how effective it could be. so that's my first -- and if not, if you have not engaged in reciprocity agreements, is it something that would be helpful to the development of the
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technology? go ahead and jump on it first. >> so if i might answer first, we have three sites in the united states, one in california, one in michigan and one in massachusetts. we do most of our testing in michigan. the reason we do that is because of different regulatory environments in three states. so the answer is no in terms of our utilization of any sort of reciprocity. >> we also test in three locations, as i said earlier, in san francisco, scottsdale, arizona, and michigan. i'm not aware of any reciprocity arrangement between the states. we've worked with the individual states to make sure we have the understanding to awlu low the testing to go forward. >> does that mean it's not been limiting? >> so far we have not had an issue in conducting the testing in those three locations. >> so we're unaware of any reciprocity between states and
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also it would be, of course, very beneficial to be able to test across state lines. >> it would be beneficial. i guess that would really only come about if you did have a patchwork. if you didn't have a patchwork, we wouldn't have to address that. >> i agree with that. it becomes a problem if a patchwork does develop. >> what can congress do to facilitate the testing and deployment of self-driving cars? and that can be directly related to the nhtsa language on ensuring that states don't get in the way. it could be related to the data sharing. double-edged sword, if you will, that i think was part of the analysis that some of you laid out which i found to be very compelling. it could be things unrelated to those two issues. >> so, i think to begin with, as we spoke before, i think that the federal government really needs to help the states understand that it's not in their self-interest to try to make their own rules and they
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should leave that to the federal government. the second thing is that the nhtsa guidelines were put out as guidelines. they were not put out asy accep still needs to be work to improve those guidelines. i think we spoke before about particular areas that we feel could be improved. a the lot of this hlot of this understanding the difference between development and deployment. during development, it's important that there be a very low overhead, low red tape way -- >> right. >> -- of making changes. during deployment, that's actually where you want things to be more efficient and it's okay to take more time. >> ensuring that we do not erect barriers on the development side. >> exactly. >> what you're trying to focus on. >> exactly, my point. >> my time's up, but -- >> thank you very much. the gentleman yields back. seeing no further questions -- i'm sorry, members asking to question the witnesses. i'm sorry. i'm sorry. >> would you let me ask one --
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>> absolutely. gentle lady's recognized. >> thank you. you know, i think the best way to keep defective vehicles off our roads is to prevent the sale of used cars under recall until the recall is repaired. mr. abelson, am i correct that general motors has committed to not selling used vehicles as certified preowned when they have open recalls? >> all vehicles we sell through our certified preowned program have been updated for all appropriate recalls. >> mr. karrberg, is that also true for your company? >> sorry, i could not comment on that. i don't know the answer but i would be happy to submit -- >> i'd really like to know that. we've been looking at that. and dr. pratt? >> this is gil pratt from toyota. i, myself, don't know since i'm the head of the research lab. i'm glad to find out from you. >> we certainly want to make sure that cars that are sold, and also often have some sort of
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statement that they've been prechecked but really also have open recalls are permitted for resale. so i'd like to hear from thereathereaat. thank you very much, mr. chairman, and witnesses. >> thank you very much. and, again, seeing no further members asking -- i'm sorry. >> may i just ask unanimous consent to put comments from ford motor company in the record of this hearing? >> thank you very much. with -- we'll submit that for the consent. no objection. again, thanks very much for our witnesses today. again, see from the folks who are here in the audience today, it's a topic that's on everybody's mind. seeing where the technology is going, safety factors, also making sure that folks out there, that senior citizens as we heard or folks who might have a disability have more mobility to get around. this is a topic that people are looking forward to, especially in the next few years, seeing these vehicles on the road.
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and also i would like to also submit the following letters for the record by unanimous consent. a letter from the national association of mutual insurance companies. letter from the national council on disability. a letter from ford motor company. a letter from global automakers. a letter from the care association. letter from epic. a letter from competitive care association. a letter from advocates for highway safety. a letter from s.a.f.e. committee rules, remind members they have ten business days to submit additional questions for the record. i ask the witnesses to submit their response within ten days. business days. upon receipt of the questions. see no further business come before the committee, this subcommittee is adjourns and, again, thank you very much for our witnesses.
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skblnc earlier today president trump announced his choice of alexander acosta to be labor secretary and the president also took questions from white house reporters on a range of
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subjects. we'll show you that news conference tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg sat down recently to talk about her life and her career. she took questions from stanford university students about the supreme court confirmation process and who's going to be the next to retire. >> hi. my name is dustin. i'm a senior. and recently with all the change that's been happening, a lot of people have been expressing encouragement that you eat more kale, so to speak. that you continue doing the public service work that you're doing for as long as possible. to that tune, i was wondering, who do you want to eat more kale in washington? >> justice kennedy.


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