U.S. House Unveils Moving Forward Act

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June 26, 2020—The U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure approved H.R. 2, the INVEST in America Act, according to a press release. 

According to the release, the surface transportation reauthorization bill provides $494 billion over five years for transportation initiatives.

The bill will be part of a broader infrastructure package, the Moving Forward Act, that was recently unveiled in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation includes a motor vehicle safety title that consists of previously introduced bills and provisions that have been introduced by the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce. 

Safety provisions incorporated in the title include prevention of deaths from hot vehicles; adding safeguards to keyless ignition technology; mandating crash-avoidance technology in all new passenger vehicles, including forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking; lane detection technology; and reinvigoration of the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). 

Additionally included in the package is a proposal from U.S. Congressman Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) on establishing a Transportation Workforce Outreach Program. The program would direct the U.S. Secretary of Transportation in order to establish a campaign to increase awareness of career opportunities and increase diversity in the transportation sector. This provision includes automotive technicians.

During a subsequent Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety teleconference, U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) assured that the $1.5 trillion proposal will pass the House.

While the bill includes a study on interactions between automated vehicles and road users, Schakowsky did say that the bill would not include an autonomous vehicle aspect, and said they are continuing to work toward an AV framework.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) held a series of webinars to launch the start of the Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing Initiative (AV Test Initiative).

NHTSA Deputy Administrator James C. Owens said it is the first platform connecting the public, manufacturers, developers, operators, and all levels of government to share and raise awareness of automated driving systems development and testing. The initiative is meant to facilitate increased public understanding about the development, safe on-road testing and deployment of AVs, according to the release.    

H.R. 2 is expected to pass the House next week. The current surface transportation authorization expires Sept. 30, 2020.

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