Advocates’ Statement on Uber Driverless Car Crash

  • March 19, 2018
150 150 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                             

March 19, 2018

Contact: Eric Naing 202-408-1711, cell: 217-493-8294,

Statement of Cathy Chase,

President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety,

On the Fatal Crash Involving an Uber Driverless Car

Last night’s fatal crash in Arizona, in which a pedestrian was killed by an Uber operating in autonomous mode, is a startling and tragic reminder that there are real-world consequences to putting unproven autonomous vehicles (AVs), or driverless cars, on the road without proper safeguards and oversight. Crashes like this one are precisely what we have been worried about and are the reason why we have repeatedly called on Congress to make crucial safety improvements to legislation that would open the floodgates for millions of driverless cars to be sold to the public (AV START Act, S. 1885 and SELF DRIVE Act, H.R. 3388). Leading state and national organizations representing public health and safety professionals, smart growth advocates, bicyclists, pedestrians, consumers, first responders, law enforcement and individuals with disabilities sent a letter to the Senate this evening urging senators to put the brakes on the AV legislation.

This crash should be a clear wake-up call for Congress to halt this flawed legislation and add desperately-needed minimum performance requirements and safety standards. Consideration of the legislation should be delayed until the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has completed its investigations of this recent crash as well as the crash involving a Tesla and a parked fire truck this past January in California. The NTSB may have findings and recommendations that should be incorporated into the legislation in addition to our proposals for legislative improvements. This bill is currently on auto pilot and is a threat to public safety.  Road users should not be forced to serve as crash test dummies and our public roads should not be turned into private proving grounds for AVs.