Senate Commerce Committee and Senate Energy Committee hold hearings at Auto Show

In a first for the Washington Auto Show, the Senate Commerce Committee held a field hearing in the convention center on the second day of MobilityTalks International, Jan. 24. Although not officially affiliated with MobilityTalks or the auto show, there was definitely some overlapping attendance because of the physical proximity and related topics. The subject of the hearing was “Driving Automotive Innovation and Federal Policies.”




Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) was an original cosponsor of the DRIVE Act, aimed at speeding the deployment of autonomous vehicles on public roads. Witnesses were Randy Avent, president of Florida Polytechnic University; Tim Kentley-Klay, CEO and cofounder, Zoox, Inc.; Mike Mansuetti, president, Robert Bosch North America, and Luke Schneider, president, Audi Mobility U.S.


About 350 people packed the standing-room-only meeting room, including 11 Senators. The four witnesses agreed that the evolution to EVs will start in about 10 years. The more immediate question is whether the Commerce Committee will approve the DRIVE Act and send it to the full Senate.


On Media Day at the Auto Show, the Senate Energy Committee held a field hearing at the W.E. Convention Center to discuss the development of advanced vehicle technologies and their impacts on energy security and infrastructure. Witnesses were Carla Bailo of the Center for Automotive Research; Britta Gross of General Motors, and Mohammad Khaleel of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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