BETHESDA, Md. – February 16, 2018 –The Auto Care Association has joined the
national conversation taking place as the Trump administration and Congress
moved to accomplish the president’s next agenda item of an infrastructure
spending bill. Yesterday, Auto Care Association President and CEO Bill Hanvey participated
in the Washington Examiner’s “Examining Infrastructure” panel discussion, which
featured opening remarks from Senator James Inhofe, R-Okla. regarding the
composition and prospects for a successful infrastructure bill during the
current Congress, including options for funding
The event was hosted at the
Hillsdale College Kirby Center in Washington, D.C. and was co-sponsored by the
Auto Care Association and Government Affairs Industry Network (GAIN). Washington
Examiner Chief Congressional Correspondent Susan Ferrechio moderated the discussion,
which included panelists Bridget Donnell Newton, mayor of Rockville, Md., and
Jim Corcoran, second vice chair, board of directors, Washington Metropolitan
Area Transit Authority (WMATA).
In his opening
remarks, Senator Inhofe, chairman of the Subcommittee on Transportation and
Infrastructure, noted that when it comes to getting legislation funded and
passed in congress, infrastructure is unique. “Transportation is different from
all other government expenditures, because it’s popular and everyone wants it.
That’s why we’re going to be successful and get it done,” said Inhofe.
discussion topics centered on the current state of infrastructure, from
both a state and national level, and what the future of our infrastructure
system will look like. “Infrastructure is more than just concrete and steel,
it’s about connectivity,” said Hanvey. “It's the cars being able to connect and
communicate. We have to have the same vision with this bill that [President] Eisenhower
had with the future of transportation when he took a leadership role in
establishing the nation’s interstate highway system."
With the rise of telematics
present in today’s vehicles and an increase in autonomous vehicles being
developed, the panelists agreed that funding needs to be allocated for the
technological component of today’s infrastructure needs, specifically in the
area of creating wider access to broadband. “When we talk about autonomous vehicles, we have to look at our grid—will
we have the capacity to totally support these vehicles and ensure they can
communicate with the roadways, the traffic lights, emergency services and more?
This is all part of the infrastructure discussion,” said Hanvey.
The Auto Care Association would support an
infrastructure bill that advances the technological reach of our current infrastructure
framework and prioritizes “the development of highly automated vehicle safety
technologies,” which Senator Inhofe’s American Vision for Safer Transportation
through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies Act or the “AV
START Act” (S. 1885) bill, currently working its way through the Senate,
seeks to achieve.
For more coverage of the discussion, view the stream of live
tweets on the Auto Care Association
Twitter page. Click here to view photos from this event.