Senate Commerce, House T&I Leaders Commend DOT’s NETT Council

The NETT Council will Identify and Resolve Jurisdictional and Regulatory Gaps that May Impede the Deployment of New Technology in Transportation

December 10, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Reps. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Sam Graves, R-Mo., chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, sent a letter to Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine L. Chao to commend the agency’s continued efforts to improve the connectivity and safety of our nation’s transportation system through innovative technology by establishing the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council. The DOT recently published a Federal Register notice seeking comments on regulatory models and alternatives the NETT Council should consider for implementing these new technologies.

Excerpt from the letter to Secretary Chao:

Our transportation system continues to evolve and it is imperative that our regulatory oversight and safety checks keep pace. Businesses cannot innovate if the regulatory frameworks in place are unworkable for prompt and safe testing and implementation of new technology, particularly if such innovations could lead to changes that improve the safety and efficiency of travel for people and goods. At the same time, we must ensure safety is the priority when considering new technology. 

Strong leadership is critical at the Federal level to support innovative transportation in the U.S. to improve mobility. Your establishment of the NETT Council seeks to provide this guidance and leadership. The Department must now take the next steps to ensure existing mechanisms are workable to effectively regulate emerging technologies. We appreciate the thoughtful approach to addressing oversight gaps for emerging technologies taken to date, and urge you to continue to advance the process upon receiving stakeholder input from the public comment period.  

Click here to read the full letter to Secretary Chao. Both committees exercise jurisdiction over the DOT.