Tougher US rules needed on autonomous cars: advocate

March 29, 2018
A January survey by the American Automobile Industry found 63 percent of consumers were fearful of riding in a totally autonomous car

Accidents involving autonomous cars could slow the advance of the technology and demonstrate the need for tougher federal standards, a leading highway safety advocate said Thursday.

"Having some basic rules of the road that everyone follows will benefit everyone because if one company fails at ensuring , it will affect all companies and consumer support," said Catherine Chase, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

In an address to a safety conference at the New York Auto Show, Chase alluded to last week's fatal accident in Arizona involving an Uber vehicle and called for tougher federal standards and an overhaul of autonomous driving legislation moving through Congress.

Besides the Uber accident, questions about self-driving cars surfaced after another fatal crash last week in California in which a Tesla owner died. Both are under investigation.

Highway safety advocates are bullish on the potential for autonomous driving technologies to help stem the rise of roadway deaths. US road fatalities rose 5.6 percent to 37,461 in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Some cars already employ automatic braking, steering and other safety-oriented innovations.

The thinking is that broader application of these mechanisms—and the arrival of fully autonomous vehicles—could avert crashes caused by drunk driving or inattention and other human errors.

Choosing words carefully

Wall Street and automakers are also eager to push the , but surveys suggest the broader public is skeptical but curious about the technology as it becomes more widely discussed.

A January survey by the American Automobile Industry found 63 percent of consumers were fearful of riding in a totally autonomous car, down from 78 percent a year earlier.

Chase said car companies had pointed to the prevalence of human-caused accidents to push for quick deployment of technology. But she warned it could backfire.

The US Department of Transportation has issued "only voluntary guidelines which are toothless and result in companies handing in what are essentially glossy brochures for their vehicles," she said.

"We believe this doesn't go far enough to ensure safety, reliability and consumer confidence," she said.

Kelly Nantel, vice president of the National Safety Council, said autonomous technology had the potential to "revolutionize" auto safety but that carmakers should make clear what the technology can and cannot do.

"We have to be very careful how we name things," she said. "Calling something 'Autopilot' sends a message to the lay consumer that the system is capable of something it isn't."

Safety regulators criticized Tesla's Autopilot after a May 2016 , finding that the driver relied too heavily on Autopilot that was made possible under Tesla's design, according to a September 2017 National Transportation Safety Board report.

Explore further: US investigating fatal Tesla crash in California

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schultzy2012
not rated yet Apr 02, 2018
In related news, other advocates called for tough federal laws targeting pedestrians who heedlessly step out in front of a rapidly moving vehicle while jaywalking in the middle of the night when they are the least visible. One advocate further speculated that the occupant of the Uber vehicle might consider filing suit against the pedestrian's estate to recover damages for her injuries and emotional trauma. She further suggested that the pedestrian, even if her actions were not deliberate, demonstrated a wanton recklessness and lack of care that a reasonable person would have not undertaken under those circumstances.
granville583762
4 / 5 (4) Apr 02, 2018
Driverless cars cannot anticipate human actions

Driverless cars cannot anticipate human actions and take evasive action at a distance. The driverless car does not anticipate the drunk in road like we do, it drives up to the drunk then puts it brake on to late and runs the drunk down - therein lies the problem driverless cars have to anticipate the random motion of the drunk at a distance. We see the motion of the drunk differently, to us it is not random we know where he's wandering next and take the appropriate action and if necessary we stop and let the drunk scream obscenities beating the stuffing out the bonnet!
granville583762
4 / 5 (4) Apr 02, 2018
Admittance of guilt, driver ran a pedestrian down for jaywalking at a distance

And like wise said pedestrian can sue the owner of the car for deliberately running them down and for not driving with due care and diligence!

schultzy2012> In related news, other advocates called for tough federal laws targeting pedestrians who heedlessly step out in front of a rapidly moving vehicle while jaywalking in the middle of the night when they are the least visible. One advocate further speculated that the occupant of the Uber vehicle might consider filing suit against the pedestrian's estate to recover damages for her injuries and emotional trauma. She further suggested that the pedestrian, even if her actions were not deliberate, demonstrated a wanton recklessness and lack of care that a reasonable person would have not undertaken under those circumstances.


The owner of the car is the safety driver, so is still the driver of the car in Law.
schultzy2012
not rated yet Apr 03, 2018
No argument about the who the legal operator of the car is. Considerable argument over "jaywalking at a distance." The released video seems to show a situation where the pedestrian steps out in front of the car, and into view, in such a way as to make the collision nearly impossible to avoid. My original comment was a way of highlighting the strange nature of the case. There is an apparent expectation that an autonomous system would already be capable of avoiding a crash that it appears a human could not have avoided; could not have avoided because a pedestrian made the seemingly crazy choice to step out in front of a fast moving vehicle at night. The interior video of the safety driver was not encouraging, but it would appear to be the pedestrian who set up an extraordinarily dangerous situation that neither human nor machine was likely to be able to avoid. While I am very curious about how the sensors missed the crazy lady in the dark, she still seems like a crazy lady.
schultzy2012
not rated yet Apr 03, 2018
Let me put the situation another way. While watching some TEDx lectures A Ford ad popped up. They were advertising their new collision avoidance system in the F-150. They did so by filming one guy driving the truck while another stepped out in front of the truck once it was up to whatever speed they had selected. The claim was that the truck braked to a stop, without driver intervention and thus avoided hitting the guy who stepped out in front of the truck. Interesting timing on seeing that particular ad, eh? The ad started with a warning in big bold letters; DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME, professional driver. That is what the pedestrian appeared to by doing; trying that at home. Well, at a multi-lane road in the middle of the night.
granville583762
4 / 5 (4) Apr 03, 2018
All this is by the way, if you run a pedstrian down jaywalking or otherwise it goes to court and is settled in court, you cannot have cars running you down and saying it is not the cars fault, if you cannot see the problems that will emerge please feel free to step of curb with driverless cars on the road!

Let me put the situation another way.

granville583762
4 / 5 (4) Apr 03, 2018
You cannot concede point it is alright for a driverless car to run a cyclist or pedestrian down!

When a person accidently run a pedestrian down and it is an unavoidable accident the judge or magistrate takes the facts into account because human beings lives are at stake, some one might be going to Jail, but when a driverless car runs a pedestrian down whatever the circumstance that car has to be removed from road and scrapped which has a knock on with the manufacture. You cannot concede point it is alright for a driverless car to run a cyclist or pedestrian down! People do their best to avoid accident, driverless cars just put their brakes on,they cannot judge human actions at distance, only people can judge human actions at a distance!

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