The General Assembly put Pennsylvania in the driving seat of innovation and economic opportunity last week when it passed legislation providing a regulatory framework for the testing and deployment of automated vehicle technology.
House Bill 2398 aims to bring Pennsylvania in line with more than a dozen other states that have already legislated a pathway for automated vehicle production. Automated vehicle technology is cutting edge, becoming more widespread in its use and expected to grow by leaps and bounds in the years to come.
The PA Chamber worked with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as leaders in the autonomous vehicle, insurance, and other industries to help advance HB 2398 to the Governor’s desk.
“Pennsylvania has become a hub for tech investment and innovation, and this bill takes a giant step toward cementing us as a prime location for companies to design, build and export automated vehicles across the nation and around the world,” PA Chamber President and CEO Luke Bernstein said. “We’re grateful that the General Assembly recognized the long-term economic gains of pursuing this future-focused policy and getting it to the governor’s desk.”
According to a Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce report, “Forefront: Securing Pittsburgh’s Break-out Position in Autonomous Mobile Systems,” this sector is expected to grow to a more than $1 trillion global market by 2026 – and the Pittsburgh region alone is estimated to capture 5,000 jobs and one percent of the global market growth, with a $10 billion impact.
Erie Insurance Vice President of Government Relations Mark Dombroski said, “As a business that has served companies and families in Pennsylvania and beyond for nearly 100 years, we’ve seen many new industries created in this state over the past century. We are pleased to see that as leaders in the technology and automotive sector work to test and deploy autonomous, self-driving vehicle technology, the Pennsylvania General Assembly has developed legislation to ensure this happens safely and treats policyholders fairly. We applaud the work of Rep. Donna Oberlander, Senate Transportation Chairman Wayne Langerholc and their staff to produce a compromise that moves our state forward, and we thank the PA Chamber for its work to expand economic growth and opportunity.”
A recent report from the Brookings Institution warned that while Pennsylvania’s tech and innovation industry is booming, the state lags in job creation due in large part to unaccommodating public policy. Enacting pro-growth legislation like H.B. 2398 will help bring our policies in line with where industry is headed, support innovation and move our economy forward.
“Safety is at the core of everything we do,” said Matt Blackburn of Aurora, a leading autonomous vehicle technology company headquartered in Pittsburgh. “This is an important step toward prioritizing both safety and innovation in Pennsylvania, and we thank Rep. Donna Oberlander, Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, Senate Transportation Chairman Wayne Langerholc, and all the legislators who helped secure passage of this important bill. This legislation will help the autonomous vehicle sector bring billions of dollars of economic value to Pennsylvania in the coming years — maintaining our region’s leadership, making roads safer, and building a more robust supply chain. We appreciate the PA Chamber’s continued commitment to helping Aurora and our industry deliver the benefits of self-driving technology.”