On October 18, 2022, Arlyn Upshaw made a presentation to members of the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation about autonomous vehicles during a meeting at the Capitol Annex. Upshaw answered legislators’ questions and shared information about a business she said increases supply-chain efficiencies, decreases the cost of goods, improves safety, and boosts job growth.
She reported that, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nearly 43,000 fatalities occurred on U.S. roads last year – an 11% increase from 2020 and a 16-year high.
“I think we have become accustomed to these numbers,” Upshaw said. “In contrast, AVs do not have a human in them and they do not drive drunk. They don’t text while driving, and they don’t fall asleep at the wheel. These are all major contributors to crashes on our roads today.”
Upshaw said autonomous vehicles are used for many purposes. They include goods delivery, passenger ride hailing services, last-mile transportation services, shuttle services, and long-haul trucking.
According to Upshaw, the federal government is responsible for oversight and administration of performance and safety standards for AVs, and states are responsible for things such as licensing, registration, insurance, and traffic enforcement.