Peters & Stabenow Applaud Federal Funding to Advance Safe Development of Self-Driving Vehicles

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow today applauded the inclusion of $100 million in the proposed Fiscal Year 2018 spending bill for the safe research, development and demonstration of self-driving vehicle technologies, including dedicated funding for the Department of Transportation’s federally designated Automated Vehicle Proving Grounds.

“Self-driving vehicles have the potential to revolutionize mobility and save thousands of lives lost on our roads every year, and we need to devote the resources necessary to ensure this technology continues to be developed safely and effectively,” said Senator Peters. “This funding will spur new research and demonstration projects that will help cities and states prepare for the self-driving future. I’m particularly pleased that a portion of the funding is designated for Automated Vehicle Proving Grounds, which offer real world testing environments to validate self-driving systems. As Congress continues working to implement clear safety and oversight policies for self-driving vehicles, this funding is a critical step towards ensuring the United States remains at the forefront of vehicle innovations that will improve safety and transform transportation in the future.”

“Michigan continues to pave the way for developing and testing safe autonomous vehicles,” said Senator Stabenow. “We secured an important investment in the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run that will help Michigan continue its leadership on a global scale.”

Peters and Stabenow have continually called for robust federal funding to support the advancement of connected and automated vehicle technologies. The American Center for Mobility (ACM), located at the former Willow Run Site in Ypsilanti Township, is one of ten federally designated Automated Vehicle Proving Grounds. ACM is a purpose-built facility designed for research, education, testing, standards-convening, product development, validation and self-certification for connected and automated vehicle technologies. Peters is the lead Democratic author of the AV START Act, bipartisan legislation that would allow for the continued safe development and deployment of self-driving vehicles. Stabenow is an original cosponsor of the bill.