Securing Our Roads for Self-Driving Vehicles

By Sherif Marakby, CEO, Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC

A federal framework for self-driving vehicles is necessary.

This week, I sent a letter urging the Senate to take up legislation that establishes national guidelines for the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles. At Ford, we sincerely appreciate Congress’ commitment to making sure self-driving vehicles are safe for everyone, and believe now is the time to act.

Passing the AV START Act legislation would mark a pivotal moment, allowing us to safely deploy self-driving vehicles and ensure the United States maintains its leadership role with regards to autonomous technology.

To date, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would allow self-driving vehicles to be tested on public roads while pushing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop federal standards for the entire industry. The Senate has a similar proposal on the table, and I strongly believe lawmakers should bring it up for a vote so that a bill can be sent to the president’s desk for his signature.

At Ford we are working hard to complete our goal of launching self-driving vehicles at scale in 2021, and we believe ensuring they are safe, reliable and trustworthy is absolutely crucial. We recently published “A Matter of Trust,” a report that outlines our approach to self-driving vehicle development. It details how we always prioritize safety at Ford as we work closely with both industry and government partners to deploy these vehicles.

You can view the letter I sent to Senators John Thune (R-SD), Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Gary Peters (D-MI) below.