Consumer Reports (CR), the independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, writes regarding the hearing, “Promises and Perils: The Potential of Automobile Technologies.” As advocates who work with policymakers, consumers, and industry to build a fair and just marketplace, we welcome the opportunity to communicate with you on this vital subject.
Today’s cars and trucks have numerous capabilities that many Americans would have considered unimaginable two decades ago. Tomorrow’s vehicles may follow suit, thanks to the creativity of automotive engineers and advances in software, electronics, and sensors.
At the same time, it is an open question whether future vehicles will truly account for the challenges we face. More than 35,000 people die in vehicle-related crashes in the U.S. each year, and millions are injured. Auto emissions contribute to another 70,000 annual pollution-related deaths nationwide, and motor vehicles are among the largest contributors to climate change. Some industry practices continue to run counter to basic consumer rights that must be upheld.
CR urges the Subcommittee to ensure the cars and trucks of the future are substantially safer, less polluting, and more efficient than the vehicles of today. We also urge members to prioritize fairness for all consumers, to ensure their fundamental rights in the marketplace are not violated. As automotive technology continues to move forward at a rapid pace, policymakers can capitalize on several essential opportunities to put people first.
For the full letter, please click here.