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Trump Administration Nixes Autonomous Vehicle Committee

The Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation (ACAT) within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) was first established in 2016. The Obama-era committee was created to “provide information, advice, and recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation on matters relating to the development and deployment of automated transportation systems and assess the state of departmental research, policy and regulatory support within this framework,” according to the DOT’s webpage. The committee was comprised of 25 members including executives from GM and Waymo, professors, and politicians involved within the transportation industry.

The ACAT met once in January 2017 prior to President Trump’s inauguration and was inactive in 2018. Under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) database, the DOT recommended that the committee be terminated and that “based on USDOT’s development and publication of AV 3.0 policies and principles, active stakeholder engagement is already underway. Therefore, the USDOT does have the ability to obtain broad stakeholders’ feedback on AV matters outside of the committee.”

To view the Committee Detail, click here.

CARB Announces Workgroup to Meet in August

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is holding a workgroup to discuss proposed adoption of a schedule of certification fees for aftermarket parts, retrofits, and emissions related components. Below is more information from CARB on the event:

 

This workgroup is directed towards the aftermarket parts, retrofit, and emissions related parts industry.  These manufacturers receive the following Executive Orders (EOs).

  • AB-series EOs, At-Berth Regulation Alternative Control Technology Verification/Approvals
  • B-series EOs, Alternative Fuel Retrofit Certifications
  • C-series EOs, Experimental Permits
  • D-series EOs, Aftermarket Parts Exemptions
  • DE-series EOs, Verification Of Diesel Emission Control Strategies, e.g., On/Off Road, SS, Harbor Craft, TRU, RTG
  • G-series EOs, Portable Fuel Containers
  • K-series EOs, Aftermarket Critical Emission Control Parts For Highway Motorcycles
  • Q-series EOs, Evaporative Components For Small Off-Road Engine Equipment
  • RM-series EOs, Evaporative Components For Spark-Ignition Marine Water Craft

 

The workgroup will be held at the time and place shown below.  You may participate in person or through webinar and conference call.
DATE:           Tuesday, August 13, 2019
TIME:            12:30 PM – 4:30 PM, Pacific Daylight Time
LOCATION:   California Air Resources Board

Annex 4 Auditorium
9530 Telstar Avenue
El Monte, California 91731

If you plan on participating by webinar and conference call, please register for the Certification Fee Aftermarket Parts and Retrofits workgroup through the link below.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

You may also dial in using your phone. (For supported devices, tap the one-touch number below to join instantly.)

United States: +1 (631) 992-3221 – One-touch:  tel:+16319923221,,491704525#

Access Code: 491-704-525

To register for the event, click here.

SBA Announces Hearing

The U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy announced that it will be holding a hearing entitled “SBA National Ombudsman’s Regulatory Fairness Hearing.” The hearing will take place on Monday August 19, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Washington, D.C.

 

To learn more about the hearing, click here.

U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee Hold Hearing on Spectrum Policy

The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing entitled, “Our Wireless Future: Building A Comprehensive Approach to Spectrum Policy.” Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) explains in his opening statement that:

Wireless spectrum enables much of the technology that powers our modern   economy…[and] these technologies rely on spectrum that has been carefully licensed and coordinated by the FCC…To meet the current demand and meet future needs we need a national spectrum policy that incentivizes innovation and provides opportunities for new technologies…I am very concerned there has been a breakdown between the FCC, NTIA, and other federal stakeholders. Over the last year and a half several federal agencies have expressed deep concerns about a number of FCC proceedings relating to spectrum policy.

The first panel includes representatives from the FCC and NTIA to address these concerns as well as further discuss the deployment and repurposing of the 5G spectrum. The second panel contains witnesses that will explore the opportunity and challenges the C-band pose.

Witnesses:

Panel 1:

  • Julius P. Knapp, Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology, Federal Communications Commission
  • Derek Khlopin, Senior Policy Advisor, National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Panel 2:

  • Tim Donovan, Senior Vice President, Legislative Affairs, Competitive Carriers Association
  • Peter Pitsch, Head of Advocacy & Government Relations, C-Band Alliance
  • Scott Bergmann, Senior Vice President, Legislative Affairs, CTIA
  • Michael Calabrese, Director, Wireless Future Project, Open Technology Institute at New America
  • Mariel Triggs, Chief Executive Officer, MuralNet
  • Jeffrey S. Cohen, Chief Counsel, APCO International

 

To view the hearing in its entirety, click here.

FTC Hosts Workshop “Nixing the Fix: A Workshop on Repair Restrictions”

This week the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hosted a workshop entitled “Nixing the Fix: A Workshop on Repair Restrictions.” The purpose of the workshop was to focus “on how manufacturers may limit repairs by consumers and repair shops and whether those limitations affect consumer protection, including consumers’ rights under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.” The workshop included three panel discussions titled, “How do repair restrictions affect consumers and small businesses?”, “What are the arguments for and against repair restrictions?”, and “What’s the Fix?” Small business owners, industry experts, and state government officials were amongst the panelists that spoke during the workshop discussing how all industries are impacted by manufacturer restrictions and possible solutions.

The FTC is seeking comments and research on this topic until September 16, 2019. To submit a comment or research, click here.

To view the workshop in its entirety, click here.

Washington Post hosts event Transformers: Cities

Recently the Washington Post held an event entitled, “Transformers: Cities” which included three panels discussing how technology is impacting urbanization and how tech innovators and policymakers are utilizing data and advanced technology to bring America’s cities into the future.

The first panel entitled, “Smart Cities: The Future of Urban Development” included speakers Andrew Altman, Principal at Fivesquares Development, and Kimberly Nelson, Executive Director of State and Local Government Solutions at Microsoft. Altman discussed that there are two massive trends happening right now, and that is increased urbanization in conjunction with technological change. Altman highlighted that it is important that cities are able to use data and create platforms to help address complicated issues facing urban communities. Nelson echoed similar sentiments stating that it’s important that data driven, collaborative environments are created so that city programs can share the info they need to make the right decision and that’s where private companies can work with state and local governments and leaders.

The second panel entitled, “Innovations in Mobility” included speakers Tim Bean, CEO at Fortem Technologies, Ian Rainey, Senior Vice President at Northeast Maglev, and Stephen Taylor, Regional Director at Lyft. Conquering three different transportation industries in this panel, there was a lively discussion on digitizing the sky, highspeed rail projects, and environmental and safety impacts, and ridesharing.

The third panel entitled, “The Transformative Power of 5G” included speakers Geoffrey Starks, Commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission, and John Godfrey, Senior Vice President of Public Policy at Samsung. Both Starks and Godfrey emphasized the importance of having 5G. Not only will opening up the 5.9G band for traffic safety and vehicles to everything (V2X) technology increase safety for drivers and pedestrians, Godfrey explained how 5G will transform the phone experience. Starks also touched on how national security plays a role and bridging the rural divide. 5G networks will be able to operate faster in real time, in turn connecting more American’s to broadband.

To view the whole program, click here.

U.S. Congress Introduces Bills to Abolish the Federal Insurance Office

Both chambers of Congress have seen bills introduced this year to abolish the Federal Insurance Office. The Federal Insurance Office (FIO) was established by Title V of the federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank). The FIO is housed within the U.S. Department of the Treasury and is headed by a director who is appointed by the secretary of the Treasury.

Opposition to the FIO can be seen by the introduction of two bills; H.R. 1862, the Federal Insurance Office Abolishment Act of 2019 by U.S. Congressman Alexander Mooney (R-WV), and S. 1586, introduced by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), and James Inhofe (R-OK). In a press release, Senator Cruz stated that this bill will “rein in bureaucratic overreach by the federal government and allow insurance regulation to be centered in the states.”

U.S. Congressman Mooney also introduced the same legislation during the 115thCongress, however, the bill died in committee. Despite numerous attempts to abolish the FIO, The Automotive Service Association (ASA) sought the establishment of the FIO, during Dodd-Frank deliberations, to offset a state regulatory insurance environment that was biased against collision shops and consumers. The ASA opposes any efforts to abolish or limit the FIO’s jurisdiction.

The Consumer Federation of America Holds Conference Call

According to Politico, the Consumer Federation of America will hold a conference call briefing today “to discuss ‘new research on how major auto insurers charge higher prices to consumers who have minimum liability limits and want to increase their protection.'”

The call will be today, July 15, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. EDT.

Participants include:

  • Bob Hunter, CFA Director of Insurance
  • Doug Heller, CFA Insurance Expert

Call-in phone number is: 800-247-5110; password, CFACALL.

To learn about the Consumer Federation of America, click here.

CARB Announces Heavy-Duty Inspection and Maintenance Working Group Meeting

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced today that they will be hosting a Heavy-Duty Inspection and Maintenance Working Group Meeting. CARB states that the purpose of the working group meeting is for “truck and fleet owners, trucking industry representatives, non-governmental organization representatives, other interested and knowledgeable stakeholders to identify, discuss, and evaluate key technical and programmatic components of a future, comprehensive HD I/M program.”

Details for the meeting are listed below:

DATE:                Tuesday, July 16, 2019
TIME:                 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. PDT
LOCATION:       CARB Depot Park Facility
8340 Ferguson Avenue
Enforcement Division Office
Conference Room 111
Sacramento, California 95828

If you plan to attend in person, please RSVP by Friday, July 12, 2019, to Krista Fregoso.

For more information regarding the event, click here.

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