U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today led a committee hearing that examined the potential safety benefits driverless vehicle technology could have for South Dakota consumers and businesses. Prior to the hearing, Thune participated in a test ride with an industry engineer who demonstrated the advancement of this technology.
“Imagine a Sioux Falls family jumping in their car for a trip to Mount Rushmore and mom or dad never have to touch the steering wheel during their entire 350-plus mile drive,” said Thune. “Or how about a small business owner in Aberdeen who needs to deliver his or her product to a store in Watertown. With this technology, rather than focusing on the road, they could be filling out paperwork, making phone calls, or sending an email. Driverless vehicle technology is at our fingertips, and Congress must work to ensure that the framework through which this technology is developed encourages growth and innovation and is not stifled by regulatory red tape.”
Thune, who has chaired the Senate Commerce Committee since the beginning of last year, has made it a priority for the committee to examine ways for the United States to remain at the forefront of the technological revolution. Earlier this month, the committee passed Thune’s MOBILE NOW Act, which would help advance the nation’s wireless broadband future, and has held hearings on the “Internet of Things” as well as the challenges facing cybersecurity.