Intel Commends U.S. House Passage of Self-Driving Cars Legislation

By Marjorie Dickman, Global Director and Associate General Counsel, Automated Driving and IoT Policy

Today, in one of Congress’ first votes following its summer recess, the House passed important bipartisan legislation to advance the safe testing and deployment of self-driving cars.

Passage of the “Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research In Vehicle Evolution Act” or the “SELF DRIVE Act” (H.R. 3388) is a critical first step to vastly increase safety on our nation’s highways, enhance mobility for the elderly and people with disabilities, improve transportation efficiency, and prioritize U.S. competitiveness in the global autonomous vehicle marketplace.

Intel applauds the leadership of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH), as well as Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ), in bringing this important legislation to the House floor.

As a leading technology provider in the fast-growing market for autonomous vehicles, Intel has supported Congressional efforts to advance key provisions of the SELF DRIVE Act since its inception.  We especially commend the Act’s recognition of the important role that technology companies are playing in the development, testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles.

We specifically appreciate the clarification of federal and state roles in regulating self-driving cars; expansion of existing exemption authority from the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (until USDOT updates its regulations to contemplate vehicles without a driver, or traditional steering wheel and brake pedal); and expansion of autonomous vehicle testing to include technology companies and new entrants.

Also, as a company with sites in Arizona where temperatures can reach in excess of 120 degrees, we are unfortunately all too familiar with the horrific stories of a young child being inadvertently left in the backseat of a hot car.  So we greatly appreciate the Act’s provision directing NHTSA to undertake a rulemaking requiring new passenger vehicles to include a rear occupant alert system, and we look forward to engaging with USDOT on this rulemaking.

Intel commends the House of Representatives on enacting all of these important provisions and, with our recent acquisition of Mobileye – a global leader in computer vision and machine learning, data analysis, localization and mapping for ADAS and autonomous driving – we are more poised than ever to help deliver the SELF DRIVE ACT’s vision for transformation in the 21st century automotive industry.

The combination of Mobileye’s leading computer vision expertise (the “eyes”) with Intel’s high-performance computing and connectivity expertise (the “brains”) is accelerating automated driving solutions from the car to the cloud.  We are building a fleet of more than 100 fully autonomous vehicles across multiple car brands for testing in the U.S., Israel and Europe starting this year.  Together, Intel and Mobileye also are collaborating with companies like BMW, Delphi and Fiat Chrysler to develop and integrate a world-leading, state-of-the-art autonomous driving platform.

Led by Mobileye, we’re also rapidly innovating a cutting-edge model for safe and scalable self-driving cars.  We are focusing on parameters like safety assurance standardization – what are the minimal requirements that every self-driving car must satisfy and how can we verify these requirements.  And we are focused on scalability – engineering solutions that enable the scaling of millions of self-driving cars.  Both factors, of course, being essential to the successful widespread deployment of self-driving cars.

Intel is excited to be driving transformation with our partners in the autonomous vehicle marketplace, and we look forward to continuing to work with bipartisan Members of the House and Senate, along with USDOT and the White House, to advance the safe testing and deployment of self-driving cars in America.

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