AV group’s Jeff Farrah: Federal policy framework top goal

“We are still thriving and still making a lot of progress,” he said. car news“I think this is why so many commercial partnerships are popping up because so many entities look at AV and say, ‘Well, this is the real solution to my problem. increase. “

Farrar, 41, spoke with staff reporter Audrey Laforest about the group’s outlook for the year ahead.

Q: As the Association’s first Executive Director, what are your top priorities for 2023?

A: We need a trade group that reflects where we are as an industry itself, and we need to make sure the industry has a say in what’s going on in Washington, the Capitol and city halls. .

We need a federal policy framework that truly facilitates the deployment and commercialization of AVs. The industry is doing very well from a technical point of view.

While much progress has been made in that respect, there has not been the same level of progress when it comes to federal law or federal policymaking.

We will encourage these institutions and leaders in the Capitol to make much progress in 2023. This sends a signal to the industry that they want to be the global leader when it comes to AV. Policy makers have the backing of the industry to allow things to unfold the way the industry really wants them to.

Another very closely related goal is to be more proactive in explaining to the American public the many benefits that AVs offer.

I think for many Americans, they don’t necessarily live in cities where AVs are deployed. To them this is still a bit of a mystery and we still consider it a scientific situation. fiction project. We now have an opportunity to make sure we are out there and telling people our vision for the future.

Several attempts at federal legislation have hitherto stalled. Is there any prospect for AV legislation in 2023?

We are very fortunate to have champions on both sides of the aisle in both the House and Senate, but our industry work really builds that and appeals to a broader base of policymakers. Ultimately, AV legislation can be enacted to help deploy and commercialize AV. It’s great that these bills have been introduced and that members of Congress are so interested in our space, but in the end, it’s important to do something that really solves a lot of the problems in the industry. , you must proceed to the next step.

Most members of Congress really want to understand what this will bring to voters and how it will help them in their lives. It’s our responsibility as an industry to be able to talk about chain issues, environmental benefits, and the need for American leadership on all these issues.

US Congressmen Debbie Dingell and Bob Latta launched the bipartisan Congressional Autonomous Vehicle Caucus. How does it lay the groundwork for AV law?

From the perspective of a Capitol staff member, there is a constant rush of people discussing the various policy issues out there, but often what they really want to know is what the industry is doing from a technology and business perspective. Where is it? Time has changed and the needs of the industry have changed in many ways, even in the early days of the pandemic, he said a couple of years ago, for example.

It’s been really nice to set those staff and levels and explain to them where we are and where we’re going as an industry.

This is a very important group and very important to us in terms of moving legislation forward. Because these are members of Congress who raised their hands and said: At least I have to learn more about it, but I might want to help push the ball forward.

We will be very involved with the Commission’s office and look forward to further building the group. Transformation in terms of transportation in this country.

I think this is something that all members of the House and Senate must ultimately care about.

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