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SAFE launches Autonomous Vehicle Task Force

Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) has formed an Autonomous Vehicle Task Force, a group of leading experts who will guide SAFE as it develops an action plan to facilitate the widespread deployment of this technology. Taking full advantage of the safety, economic, and national security benefits of driverless cars and trucks will require a concerted effort on the part of the public and policymakers to allow the technology to flourish, avoiding excessive regulation and creating policy only if necessary, SAFE said. As with all new products, autonomous vehicles will experience constant evolution, and it is important to get them on the road as soon as possible, the organization said.

Task force member, advisor to Google and former Corporate Vice President for Research and Development at General Motors Larry Burns hailed the creation of a new “Automotive DNA,” through which cars are connected and driverless, offering consumers and businesses an entirely new and improved value proposition. Burns was joined by Lynn Liddle, Executive Vice President at Domino’s Pizza, and Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of SAFE, who respectively spoke to the implications of driverless cars for the business community and the opportunity to reduce America’s dependence on oil.

Benefits to energy security aside, connected and autonomous transportation offer the best way to address what has become a roadway safety epidemic, with the potential to reduce crashes by over 90 percent. For every day we accelerate the transition to connected and driverless vehicles, we save 3,000 lives, underscoring the importance of making a plan and getting these technologies on the road as quickly as possible.

—Larry Burns

In addition to Dr. Burns, members of SAFE’s Autonomous Vehicle Task Force include:

  • Rutt Bridges, geophysicist and author of “Driverless Car Revolution”
  • Mike Granoff, Principal, Maniv Mobility
  • Chunka Mui, Co-founder and Managing Director of The Devil’s Advocate Group and author of “The New Killer Apps: How Large Companies can Out-Innovate Start-Ups”
  • Mark Platshon, Managing Director, Icebreaker Ventures
  • Peter Shannon, Managing Director, Firelake Capital Management
  • Evangelos Simoudis, Senior Managing Director, Trident Capital
  • Levi Tillemann-Dick, Jeff and Cal Leonard Fellow, New America Foundation and author of “The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future”

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