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Senate Passes Peters Provision to Promote Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Technology in Highway Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today applauded the Senate passage of bipartisan legislation he introduced to promote the development and use of vehicle-to-infrastructure technology, which was included as a provision in the six-year highway bill passed by the Senate today. Peters introduced the Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Safety Technology Investment Flexibility Act of 2015 in June, along with Republican Senator Roy Blunt (MO) and Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI).

“As we make critical investments to upgrade our nation’s infrastructure, it is essential for us to promote the technologies and developments that will make transportation smarter and safer,” said Senator Peters. “I’m proud the Senate passed my bill to allow states to invest in vehicle-to-infrastructure technology that will help prevent accidents and save lives. Connected vehicles are the next frontier of the American auto industry, and this provision will help ensure that states have the resources to invest in these life-saving developments and keep pace with continuing advancements in connected vehicle technology.”

Peters’ provision authorizes states to use existing surface transportation funding from highway programs, including the National Highway Performance Program (NHPP), the Surface Transportation Program (STP) and the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), to invest in vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology.

V2I technology includes the wireless transmission of safety and operational information between connected cars and infrastructure to prevent accidents, reduce traffic congestion and improve energy consumption. V2I applications can include traffic signals that warn vehicles of congestion or stopped traffic and monitors on bridges that can communicate ice accumulations or other hazards to approaching vehicles.

According to a 2013 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 32,000 people are killed in accidents on American roads and highways. NHTSA found that once V2I technologies are fully deployed along with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technologies, they will have the potential to reduce up to 80 percent of accidents involving non-impaired drivers.

Peters’ bill has broad support from transportation industry leaders including Ford, General Motors, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of Global Automakers, Cisco and ITS America—the High Tech Transportation Association.

As a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Peters strongly supports efforts to promote advanced vehicle technologies. His bipartisan Vehicle Innovation Act to promote investments in research and development of clean vehicle and advanced safety technologies was also approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today.