Congressman Greg Walden

Representing the 2nd District of Oregon

Greg Walden takes to highway in self-driving car

June 6, 2017
Press Release

Greg Walden takes to highway in self-driving car

Says technology is a 21st century solution to reduce traffic fatalities in Oregon 

Walden stands beside Audi’s A7 Concept Vehicle equipped with self-driving technology 


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Continuing to push for innovative solutions to reduce traffic fatalities in Oregon, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today took to a busy highway in a self-driving car. The vehicle -- Audi’s A7 concept car -- is equipped with self-driving technology, which Walden calls a 21st century solution to improve the safety of America’s roads. 

 “Experiencing this advanced technology first-hand is exciting, especially when you consider the positive impact self-driving cars can have for Oregonians and people across the country,” said Walden. “On Oregon’s roads, 2016 was the deadliest year in more than a decade with traffic fatalities up 20 percent from the year before. Over 40,000 people lost their lives in vehicle-related accidents across the country last year alone -- a six percent increase from 2015. These numbers are sobering. We should be using all of the tools at our disposal to reduce the dangers facing the driving public. Self-driving cars offer a 21st century solution to a 21st century problem. As Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I look forward to seeing the continued advancements in this technology as we work toward improving the safety of America’s roads.” 

Walden discusses the advanced technology which allows this vehicle to operate autonomously 

Rep. Walden takes to a busy highway in a self-driving vehicle 

As Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Walden is at the forefront of the effort to safely bring self-driving vehicle technology to America’s roads. Today, many cars on the market are equipped with active safety features or semi-autonomous driving systems.  These systems have the potential to keep a vehicle within its designated lane; accelerate to pass another vehicle; change lanes; brake; and park -- all without the input of a human driver.  These advanced driver-assistance systems or crash-avoidance technologies represent the building blocks to a fully self-driving car.  

Walden’s committee continues to examine how the implementation of autonomous vehicles can reduce traffic fatalities, and is producing legislation to develop this innovative technology to make it available throughout the country. This work comes as Oregon and America, as a whole, face an increase in vehicle-related deaths after years of declining traffic fatalities.