Autonomous Vehicles Preconference | 2017 NCSL Capitol Forum


Autonomous Vehicles Preconference | Dec. 10, 2017 | NCSL Capitol Forum

NCSL Capitol Forum.NCSL, in collaboration with the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, hosted a preconference on highly autonomous vehicles (HAVs) at NCSL Capitol Forum.  The Capitol Forum was held at the Hotel del Coronado, 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado, Calif. The preconference was held on  Dec. 10.

This four-hour meeting explored a range of policies and research associated with the emergence of this technology. See below for session descriptions and topics discussed during the event. 

State/Federal Nexus for HAV Technology and Development

Traditionally, the roles of federal, state and local governments have been fairly clear in the regulation of motor vehicles. This session explored these traditional roles and how they may perhaps change in the future. Attendees developed a deeper understanding of the debate surrounding the appropriate roles for the different levels of government in the regulation of HAVs.

  • Chris Murphy, regional administrator, region 9, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration | Presentation
  • Curt Augustine, director, policy and government affairs – California office, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers | No Presentation
  • Dan Mahaffee, senior vice president, director of policy, Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress | No Presentation
  • Moderator, Ben Husch, NCSL

From Idea to Reality: Potential Benefits and Speedbumps

HAVs may reduce human error, which causes over 90 percent of car crashes, but the technology will likely encounter speedbumps as it is developed. HAVs may disrupt the current job market in some areas, but they will also open up new opportunities. This session looked at some of the potential safety and economic impacts of this technology. The speakers also explored how the insurance market will need to change, how the public feels about this technology and some of the potential overall impacts on mobility.

  • Ian Adams, associate vice president of state affairs, R Street Institute | No Presentation
  • David Grow, counsel, State Farm | No Presentation
  • Moderator: Amanda Essex, NCSL

Windfall or Scourge: HAV’s Impact on Transportation Funding

Improved traffic management, mobility as a service and lawful obedience—all potential benefits of HAVs—may cause havoc with historical funding models. In this session industry experts and stakeholders discussed the potential impacts of HAVs on both the inflow of revenues and the emerging demands on infrastructure spending.

  • Adrian Moore, vice-president of policy, Reason Foundation | No Presentation
  • Ray Traynor, director of operations, San Diego Association of Governments | No Presentation
  • Moderator, Kevin Pula, NCSL

Conceptual Framework for Considering New Technologies

The final session expanded the discussion beyond HAVs to explore how to address the impacts of new technologies, while recognizing that technology will continue to change and develop more quickly than legislation and regulation may be able to keep up with. The session also discussed how states can provide a level playing field and avoid favoring certain companies, industries or technologies.

  • Adam Thierer, senior research fellow, Technology and Policy Program, Mercatus Center | No Presentation
  • Glenn Nye, president and chief executive officer, Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress | No Presentation
  • Moderator: Stacy Householder, NCSL

This pre-conference was made by possible by the support of the Charles Koch Foundation. Please email Amanda Essex ( if you have any any questions.