Issues

New Vehicle Technologies

U.S. House Subcommittees Hold Joint Hearing on Fuel Economy and Emissions Standards for Motor Vehicles

Today, the Subcommittee on Environment and the Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection held a joint hearing entitled “Update on the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Program (CAFE) and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Motor Vehicles. Witnesses included:

Mr. Mitch Bainwol 
President and CEO, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

Mr. John Bozzella 
President and CEO, Global Automakers

Dr. Dave Cooke 
Senior Vehicles Analyst, Clean Vehicles Program, Union of Concerned Scientists

Mr. Forrest McConnell III 
President, McConnell Honda & Acura, on behalf of The National Automobile Dealers Association

In his opening statement, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) stated, “We want to know how these different regulatory schemes impact consumers, and learn more about better ways to ensure the federal fuel economy standards are met, without creating unnecessary paperwork or administrative burdens that serve only to drive up costs for American families. As currently constructed, it has been estimated that these programs will raise the average price of a new vehicle by almost $3,000 – that is no small amount and one that will undoubtedly price many Americans out of the new car market. Although the goals of these varying programs are important, we must never forget that we do in Washington has a real impact on consumers across the country.”

To watch the full hearing, please click here.

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GAO Releases Report on Automated Vehicles

A new GAO report recommended that DOT establish a plan to combat safety and infrastructure challenges posed by self-driving cars and light-duty trucks.

The report noted that DOT recently created a group to lead policy development, but the agency has not announced a timeframe or delineated the type of work the group is expected to do.

GAO recommends that DOT develop a comprehensive plan to better manage departmental initiatives related to automated vehicles. DOT concurred with the recommendation. To see the full text of the report, click here.

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Waymo Begins Public Testing of Self-Driving Vehicles

Waymo,  a self-driving technology company founded by Google, has launched their “early rider program” in Phoenix, Arizona. Until now, Waymo’s and Uber’s self-driving cars have had a person in the driver’s seat ready to take control if necessary. For more details, click here.

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U.S. Senate Committee Approves Federal Advisory Committee Language

On October 4th, 2017, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation adopted an amendment to establish a federal advisory committee comprised of aftermarket representatives and other stakeholders. The amendment, offered by U.S. Senator Inhofe (R-OK), was added to S. 1885, the American Vision for Safer Transportation Through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act.

Included in the scope of the Committee is a review of data access and cyber security issues. In consultation with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Committee will produce a comprehensive report on vehicle data, intellectual property protections, customer privacy, cybersecurity, vehicle safety, etc., within two years. To see the full text of the amendment, click here.

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ASA Sends Joint Letter to FTC and NHTSA Requesting Aftermarket Representation

Following a recent public workshop on connected vehicles, co-hosted by NHTSA and the FTC, several aftermarket groups noted that the panelists failed to adequately address the role of the aftermarket repairer when it comes to connected vehicles. In a letter submitted to FTC Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen and NHTSA Acting Deputy Administrator Terry Shelton, these groups, including ASA, outlined their concerns about the future of vehicle technologies and their impact on repairers and, in turn, consumers.

The letter also requested a joint meeting between the groups and both NHTSA and the
FTC to more fully discuss this issue and how it will affect consumers and competition in the
vehicle repair industry. To view the full text of the letter, please click here.

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U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Reviews Self-Driving Cars Legislation

On June 27th, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on a draft package of fourteen driverless car bills. The hearing follows closely behind ASA’s Mechanical Operations Committee meeting with senior House Energy and Commerce staff on June 14th to discuss several issues related to driverless cars and the potential impact on repair shops.

To read the witness’ testimony or to view a recording of the hearing, please click here.

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