We are just a few weeks into 2017, and already there has been a flurry of positive activity in our nation’s capital with the potential to position the U.S. as the undisputed global leader for the Internet of Things (IoT) investment, innovation, and deployment. Last week, Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and the newest member of the Senate IoT working group, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), reintroduced the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act. This bipartisan legislation recognizes that a national IoT strategy that promotes innovation and creates a cohesive approach to IoT policy across the government will help address important societal issues and drive U.S. competitiveness and economic growth for decades to come.
Following on that, the Department of Transportation announced members of the newly created Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation (ACAT). ITI’s President and CEO, Dean Garfield, along with representatives from ITI’s member companies Amazon, Apple, and Waymo (Google) were appointed to the board, which is co-chaired by General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. The advisory committee held its first meeting yesterday to begin finding innovative approaches to address “the most pressing and relevant matters facing transportation today, including the development and deployment of automated vehicles…”
The meeting comes on the heels of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) release of its much anticipated Green Paper: Fostering the Advancement of the Internet of Things. This thorough document captures the many benefits of IoT, which will strengthen industries like manufacturing, agriculture, and infrastructure. It also defines the broad categories and emerging applications of IoT, and charts a course for the Department of Commerce to foster IoT advancement.
So is 2017 going to be the year of IoT in DC?
It is starting off that way. To help fully realize the potential of the IoT, ITI and our member tech companies in the National IoT Strategy Dialogue (NISD) will be releasing strategic recommendations within a month for the federal government that, if acted upon, will further position the U.S. as the global IoT leader. These recommendations look to leverage existing policy tools and new standards in order to avoid creating laws or regulations that may inadvertently or unnecessarily impede the IoT’s growth and advancement.
The NISD, the DIGIT Act, the ACAT, and NTIA’s green paper all provide great inertia early in 2017 to put policy and regulatory environments in place that will fuel growth, create new jobs, and bolster the U.S. economy. We look forward to working with the new Congress and the incoming administration to create policies that enable an environment where innovation can flourish and where our society can harness the potential of these emerging technologies.