WASHINGTON - The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) issued the following statement on today’s House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade hearing entitled “Disrupter Series: Self-Driving Cars.”
“PCI applauds Chairman Burgess and Ranking Member Schakowsky for holding this important hearing,” said Nat Wienecke, PCI’s senior vice president, federal government relations. “The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s Federal Automated Vehicle Policy provides the necessary guidance for states on the testing and deployment of highly automated vehicles. However, the new policy does raise issues that are important to the automobile insurance market as it seeks to adapt and develop new products to meet consumer’s needs. PCI encourages lawmakers to implement clear policies on the federal and state roles in regulating automated vehicle technology and ensuring that insurers have access to vehicle data on reasonable terms to efficiently handle claims, develop products and underwriting methods.
“While it is important to prepare for the automated vehicle of the future, PCI also urges policymakers to continue to focus on the auto safety challenges that face us today such as distracted and impaired driving,” continued Wienecke. “There is a fundamental mismatch between the public perceptions that auto accidents and insurance costs are decreasing with the stark reality that our roads are becoming increasingly dangerous and auto repair and medical costs are increasing.” According to NHTSA, 17,775 people died on our nation’s roads in the first half of 2016. Traffic deaths are increasing at the fastest rate in 50 years, with a 10.4% increase in the first six months of this year. “Policymakers must not lose sight of these auto safety issues. PCI urges Congress to provide oversight to ensure that the auto safety provisions in H.R. 22, the Fast Act, including establishing an enforceable impairment standard for drivers under the influence of marijuana are implemented.
“Someday in the future, self-driving cars may reduce the number of accidents and deaths. However this stands in sharp contrast to what is happening on our roads today. PCI looks forward to working with policymakers at the federal and state level to reduce accidents on our roads today and in the future,” concluded Wienecke.
PCI submitted a statement for the record. The statement is attached.