First Autonomous Vehicle related Pedestrian fatality in Tempe, AZ leads to calls for reform in transparency and safety

Automated Vehicle Fatality in Tempe, AZ

An Uber Autonomous Vehicle (AV) struck and killed a pedestrian early Monday morning in Tempe, Arizona. This is the first pedestrian fatality from a self-driving car in the United States.

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NATCO) officially released this statement on the crash:

“In order to be compatible with life on city streets, AV technology must be able to safely interact with people on bikes, on foot, or exiting a parked car on the street, in or out of the crosswalk, at any time of day or night. Cities need vehicles to meet a clear minimum standard for safe operations so the full benefits of this new technology are realized on our complex streets. Responsible companies should support a safety standard and call for others to meet one as well.”

We agree. AV Technology must be able to safely share our public roads with people on bikes or on foot, whether there’s a crosswalk or not. Or whether it’s well lit or dark.  

Right now, the only people we have to trust whether or not the technology is safe are the companies themselves, and they need to build that trust with the public.

This is a wake up call for the AV companies to double down and make sure their technology can see people on bikes and on foot, and for our cities to double down on making sure our streets are safe for bicyclists and pedestrians.

We think this is an historic moment, something that we can all learn from, and urge Uber to be completely transparent and share the data and footage with authorities and the public.

Require AVs to ‘see’ bicyclists and pedestrians

Right now the Senate is considering S. 1885: AV START Act to set guidelines for automated vehicle manufacturers to test their vehicles on our streets.

Join the League of American Bicyclists in asking Senators to require automated vehicles to pass a vision test and prove they can detect and respond to all users of our roadways, including bicyclists and pedestrians.

Click here to ask Senators to require AV’s to pass a vision test.


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