Advocates’ Statement on Waymo’s 10 Million Miles Driven

    • October 10, 2018
    150 150 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    October 10, 2018

    Contact: Eric Naing 202-408-1711, cell: 217-493-8294, enaing@saferoads.org

     

    Statement of Cathy Chase,

    President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety,

    On Waymo Driverless Cars Reaching 10 Million Miles Driven

    Driverless Cars Still Not Ready for Prime Time – U.S. Senate Should Tap the Brakes on the AV START Act (S. 1885)

    Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) has a long history of championing proven safety technology, from airbags in the 1990s to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) today.  We commend Waymo for reaching 10 million miles of testing on public roads.  However, this pales in comparison to the more than three trillion miles traveled by human drivers on U.S. roads each year.  Many more miles and milestones must be reached before driverless cars are sold to the public, which is precisely what a bill under consideration in the U.S. Senate will allow, AV START Act (S. 1885).  This deeply flawed legislation will open the floodgates to the sale of potentially millions of experimental driverless cars that are exempt from crucial safety standards.  We urge the Senate to tap the brakes on this bill, which is clearly unnecessary for companies to continue and expand their testing and improving of driverless cars, as evidenced by Waymo’s announcement.

    The simple fact is that driverless cars are not ready for prime time and the Senate should stop the artificial rush to move the AV START Act.  Serious and fatal crashes involving vehicles equipped with driverless systems have revealed significant flaws, including with their ability to detect and respond to roadway infrastructure, emergency vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.  Advocates believes this technology has great potential to one day improve road safety and mobility but regulatory safeguards, industry accountability and government oversight must be put in place to achieve this goal.  A mass deployment of driverless cars without these commonsense measures is not only incredibly risky, it will also substantially jeopardize public confidence in this new technology, which is already deeply skeptical.  Advocates urges the Senate to put public safety before corporate profit and oppose the AV START Act in its current form.

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