“Rep. Gene Ward Commends Gov. Ige’s Executive Order #17-07 Autonomous Vehicle Testing”
News Release from Office of Rep Gene Ward November 29, 2017
HONOLULU, HAWAIʻI – Representative Gene Ward (R-Hawaiʻi Kai, Kalama Valley) commends Governor David Ige’s decision to sign Executive Order 17-07 (attached below) on November 22, 2017. The executive order establishes an Administrative Director in the Office of the Governor who will support companies seeking to test self-driving vehicle technology in Hawaiʻi.
“This is a step in the right direction and I applaud the Governor for signing this executive order. It is certainly time that Hawai‘i joins the race to develop driverless vehicle technology,” said Rep. Ward. “I’ve introduced an ‘autonomous vehicle testing’ bill every year for the last five years hoping that we as a state could jump ahead of the game. Better late than never.”
Rep. Ward first introduced legislation in 2012 that would authorize the testing of autonomous vehicles in Hawaiʻi. HB 1596 was the most recent bill he introduced this past legislative session. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, human error accounts for ninety-four percent of crashes. As traffic congestion worsens across O‘ahu, autonomous driving technology offers the possibilities of personal transportation that can be safer and more efficient in saving time and mitigating traffic. Additionally, self-driving cars can assist those with limited mobility, like the elderly and disabled.
Ward concludes, “Driverless cars are the future. I am excited to see Hawaiʻi be a part of the efforts in expanding this technology that can pave the way for safer and less congested roads. As a part of the Governor's plan, I would like to see the H-1 HOV lanes converted into driverless car lanes.”
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