FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, February 25, 2020
CONTACT: Pete Daniels / firstname.lastname@example.org / 202-408-1711 / 301-442-2249 (C)
Nation’s Top Crash Investigators Confirm the Need
for Swift Action to Prevent Future Crashes, Injuries
and Deaths Linked to Partially Autonomous Vehicles
During today’s National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) meeting on the March 2018 fatal crash of a Tesla in Mountain View, California, the independent agency called for swift action to prevent crashes involving partially autonomous vehicles. Furthermore, the NTSB findings note that the approach of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) “to the oversight of automated vehicles is misguided, because it essentially relies on waiting for problems to occur rather than addressing safety issues proactively.” Board members urged NHTSA to adopt NTSB’s new and prior recommendations including those dating back to 2017 that would require a minimum performance standard for partially autonomous vehicles. New recommendations included mandatory standards for driver monitoring systems in partially automated vehicles.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety President Cathy Chase responded, “Today’s NTSB meeting provides further evidence of why commonsense safeguards, including covering partially autonomous vehicles (AV), must be part of our Nation’s first AV legislation being considered right now by Congress. The U.S. Department of Transportation must prioritize safety by issuing minimum safety performance standards, conducting thorough oversight, and requiring industry accountability.”
Chase testified before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce on February 11, 2020, and her written testimony calls for needed protections as AVs are developed and deployed. During the hearing, Chase also released the findings of an opinion poll demonstrating the public’s reticence about AVs and support for safety standards.