McMorris Rodgers: Autonomous Vehicles Will Transform People’s Lives & America’s Leadership in the Global Economy

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican Leader on the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, yesterday joined Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D., at the U.S. Department of Transportation Headquarters for the Access and Mobility for All Summit. Cathy spoke about how autonomous vehicles will transform America’s leadership in the global economy and give people with disabilities more opportunities and independence.

 CLICK HERE or above to watch her full remarks.

Autonomous vehicles will transform lives:

“The whole issue of congestion is going to be an issue of the past, that’s really cool. But when you think about someone with a disability being able to get into a car and be able to go wherever they need to go, that’s revolutionary. And so, I believe that by tearing down–breaking down the transportation barriers—we’re going to be unleashing more opportunities, more freedom, more independence and really transforming people’s lives in ways we couldn’t imagine even 10, 20, or 30 years ago.”

AV draft bill written with people with disabilities in mind:

“I serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee. I’m the lead Republican on the subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the legislation around autonomous vehicles. I have good news to report. We are making progress.

“The House, the Senate, the Republicans and Democrats are working together on [autonomous vehicle] legislation. We are hopeful that it’s legislation that we will be able to pass this year. For those with disabilities, I am proud that there are key provisions for access and mobility. There is a provision that allow automakers to request exemptions from the one-size-fits-all standards that may not work for people with disabilities.”

“Second, it creates a specific subcommittee devoted to the advancement of mobility access. We want to make sure– and this is bipartisan and bi-cameral– that we are really addressing the needs, as well as the opportunities, for those with disabilities.   

“These are big wins for us. It’s going to be important that as we continue to work on legislation that we do it with the disability community in mind.” 

Disrupting the global economy & American leadership:

“Whether it’s self-driving cars or [other] autonomous vehicles that are changing our lives and making our road safer, let’s continue to work to raise the standard of living and make sure that America is leading.”

“America has always been that country where you can take those ideas that you have and turn them into a reality. We’ve done more to lift people out of poverty than any other country in the world. That’s the promise of America. And it’s remarkable, we are the nation that is responsible for history’s greatest scientific and technological breakthroughs. And it’s because we are founded in the belief of every person’s human right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We believe in people, their dignity and every person’s ability to reach their full potential.”

“[We need to ensure] America is providing the global leadership, and I look forward to working with you as a member on the Energy and Commerce Committee…because there is no better place in the world to advance these solutions than in America.”

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