Senate Field Trip to the Auto Show!
Buckle up, folks—the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee is planning to convene a field hearing at the Washington Convention Center on January 24, 2018, entitled “Driving Automotive Innovation and Federal Policies.” The Committee will discuss self-driving vehicles, among other advanced vehicle technologies, as well as lawmakers’ role in fostering these developments. Doors to the 2018 Auto Show in D.C. will be open to the public from January 26th through February 24th. Witnesses have not yet been announced.
If you have never been to the Auto Show, I highly recommend it! This year over 600 new models from production and luxury vehicles to exotic sports cars will be on display. This includes a few self-driving vehicles, like the Kia First Class Soul which has two rear-facing front seats.
Experts from industry, government, and academia around the world will come together to discuss connected cars and autonomous vehicles at the MobilityTalks International forum scheduled for January 23-24, 2018, also at the Washington Convention Center. This year’s theme is “Freedom and the Automobile,” and participants will discuss best practices and standards development for autonomous vehicles, as well as regulation of these bourgeoning technologies.
These discussions are both timely and pertinent. They are particularly important in the context of autonomous vehicles and cybersecurity—something policymakers in Congress and at the U.S. Department of Transportation are focused on (read more here). Although threats abound, lawmakers would be remiss in unilaterally imposing inflexible mandates that unintentionally restrict industry’s ability to identify and mitigate risks. Efforts should focus on fostering voluntary best practices and developing public-private partnerships, including partnerships designed to help businesses respond to and recovery from cyber incidents, both here in the U.S. and abroad.
The Auto Show presents a great opportunity for policy makers to examine the extraordinary advances in automotive technology and hear from stakeholders on how best to enhance security of these systems.