The story “First-ever self-driving vehicle crash report released. Nearly all the WA wrecks involved Teslas” [June 15, Local News] illuminates the dangers of allowing vehicles with unregulated automated driving technology onto Washington state’s public roadways.
Rather than waiting for the possibility of autonomous vehicles preventing crashes in the future, federal requirements for proven collision avoidance technology in new cars and trucks, such as automatic emergency braking (AEB), must be issued now. It is critical that the standards developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation protect all road users, including pedestrians and bicyclists, a population that has been particularly hard hit in recent years as crash fatalities skyrocket in Washington and across the nation.
Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) must improve its crash data collection efforts for vehicles equipped with partial or fully automated driving technology so the public can get a full and accurate understanding of what’s happening on our roads.
Cathy Chase, Falls Church, Virginia, president, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety; and Mike McGinn, Seattle, executive director, America Walks