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Peters, Gardner Announce New Bipartisan Smart Transportation Caucus

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) today announced the formation of the bipartisan Senate Smart Transportation Caucus to focus on advancing new innovation in transportation technologies that will improve safety and efficiency.

“New innovations and technologies are the future of the American auto industry and vehicle safety, and we must promote their development and implementation into our everyday lives,” said Senator Peters. “Encouraging the development of these technologies will help ensure that Michigan and the American auto industry continue to be a world leader in manufacturing the cars and trucks of the future. I’m honored to work with Senator Gardner to create the Smart Transportation Caucus that will help drive the creation and use of these important technologies to reduce accidents, ease traffic congestion and save lives.”

“If the United States is going to be on the cutting edge of transportation technology, we need smart policies that assist American innovators and entrepreneurs,” Senator Gardner said. “Developing these new technologies and ensuring that they are safely and seamlessly integrated into our infrastructure and economy will be the main focus of our caucus. I’m pleased to be able to work with Senator Peters on these critically important issues.”

The Smart Transportation Caucus will encourage the development and deployment of existing and next-generation technologies including connected and automated vehicle safety technologies, smart infrastructure, advanced traffic and freight management systems, real-time transit and parking technologies. 

These innovations have a wide range of applications and have the potential to prevent accidents and save lives; reduce traffic congestion, fuel use and emissions; improve personal mobility and meet our nation’s current and future infrastructure; environmental and economic challenges.

The Caucus will bring together relevant stakeholders, including federal and state agencies, the auto industry, the wireless industry, transportation safety advocates and experts from the cybersecurity and privacy sector to help shape the policies and priorities that will encourage the development of smart transportation technologies.

Peters is a strong supporter of advanced vehicle technologies. Earlier this month he introduced the Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Safety Technology Investment Flexibility Act of 2015 to allow states to use existing federal highway and surface transportation funds to invest in vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications technology. V2I technologies include wireless exchanges of critical safety and operational information between connected vehicles and infrastructure, such as bridges or traffic signals, to help prevent collisions, relieve traffic congestion and reduce unnecessary energy consumption.

Last month, Peters introduced the bipartisan Vehicle Innovation Act to promote investments in research and development of new vehicle technologies to improve safety and efficiency, including V2V and V2I. V2V and V2I have the potential to reduce or prevent entirely up to 80 percent of accidents by non-impaired drivers according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).