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Increased road fatalities demand improved vehicle technology


With the surge in road deaths in the United States, parliamentarians emphasized the role of self-driving cars (AV) in improving safety at a hearing on Tuesday, but called for other technologies to be implemented in the short term. I did.

Legislators are determined to encourage faster AV development and deployment and legislate early technology. However, some say automakers need to provide that technology as standard because advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are available to help reduce serious collisions.

Organizations such as the Governor’s Highway Safety Association and the National Safety Council predict that the number of deaths on national roads will increase in 2020, despite a sharp decline in driving due to the coronavirus pandemic. , This discussion has new importance.

“”[The] The sad situation here is that nearly 40,000 people die each year in road accidents, and in almost all cases the denominator is the same human error, “said a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Commission. Gus Bilirakis, a ranking member of the subcommittee, said. And the Commerce Commission’s Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee. “Preventable loss of life on our roads is tragic and unacceptable.”

First step in standardizing ADAS

The National Transportation Safety Board has called for the addition of collision avoidance technologies like ADAS to vehicles since 2016, but many automakers do not offer this technology as a standard for new vehicles and instead offer it as an option. It is offered as.

With rear-view mirror cameras, lane-assisted warnings, and anti-lock braking, ADAS has been credited with dramatically reducing collisions. However, in a letter to the Commission prior to the hearing, highway and car safety advocates (supporters) demand it by automakers and legislation that ADAS refuses to include as a standard. He said he was “hindered” by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In a hearing, Jason Levine, Secretary-General of the Japan Safe Driving Center, said the discussion on vehicle technology goes to AV and future discussions, as opposed to how ADAS and other innovations can be used now. Said too much. Levine experienced less than 19,000 vehicle-related deaths last year and cited the example of the European Union, which is more consistent than the United States in terms of ADAS requirements.

“”[Instead] In discussions about the solution to the actual crisis, victims accuse the United States of losing competition to transport first if we don’t immediately put all the eggs in an automated guided vehicle basket. You have to suffer in another round of Little and the environmental nirvana. “

Congressman Frank Pallone, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, asked Levine if automakers could “crack on themselves” and trust to implement new technologies. Levine said NHTSA could not play a stronger role and called for it. NHTSA responded to the call for action with a new campaign to educate drivers at ADAS.

“Current vehicle descriptions, such as” Autopilot, “can mislead consumers into thinking that they have self-driving capabilities when they don’t. “

Gus Bilirakis


New call for AV regulation

Concerns remain persistent, even though self-driving car technology has the potential to reduce car accidents. Legislators and regulators have warned that automakers could market their technology in a misleading way. Tesla is investigating by the California Department of Motor Vehicles as promoting fully autonomous driving as fully autonomous driving if it does not meet the legal definition of fully autonomous driving.

Billirakis has promised to introduce objectivity standards into the Advertising Driving Systems (ROADS) Act. It said it would consider how automakers would sell their car driving systems.

“Current vehicle descriptions, such as the’Autopilot’, can mislead consumers into thinking that they have self-driving capabilities when they don’t,” Villirakis said. “Just as the average person had to understand how antilock braking works, they need to understand the advantages and limitations of current generation technology, which is certainly theirs. It starts with a proper explanation. “

This isn’t the first time Congress has wanted to regulate AV nationwide.

House passed the SELF DRIVE Act in 2017 for future developments of safe living and vehicle evolution, but the companion American Vision (AV START) for safer transportation through innovative technological advances. ) The effect of the law died on concerns of the US Senate regarding safety and labor.

Subsequent efforts to revive the bill went nowhere other than the release of the highly criticized draft text and the legislation of the steam lost with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. And this year, US Senator John Thune, RS.D. , And Gary Peters, D-Michigan, considered attaching an amendment to the Endless Frontier Act to give NHTSA the ability to initially exempt 15,000 AV per manufacturer from federal safety standards, but they I later withdrew it.

Meanwhile, NHTSA and the US Department of Transportation issued guidance for advancing AV deployment in early 2020, but provided little guidance on how to regulate or create rules. Democratic Party Chairman Jan Schakowsky said the hands-off approach is no longer acceptable.

“Given the increase in deaths, the deregulation approach is really unjustified at this point,” she said. “The federal government needs to create standards to ensure the safe deployment of technologies available today and in the future. Standards create the certainty needed to accelerate innovation.”

Some of the people who attended the hearing warned that if the United States did not lead the development and deployment of AV, it would risk lagging behind China.

Raj Rajkumar, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, said: “You shouldn’t aim to reflect the regulatory model, but be aware of what’s at stake throughout the race and ultimately innovate with core technologies that enable the safe deployment of AV technology. You have to work with. “

Worker protection

The hearing also called for ensuring the protection of workers who have lost or radically changed their jobs due to AV.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the AFL-CIO (TTD) Department of Transport and Trade announced a joint legislative framework prior to the hearing. It calls for workforce training planning and reduction of unemployment. Greg Regan, president of TTD, quoted a warning that up to 3 million people in the commercial driving sector could lose their jobs or change dramatically due to automation.

“We know that AV can dramatically change the nature of our services and work, while endangering millions of jobs,” Regan said.

TTD and Teamstars said lawmakers need to “prepare and mitigate the impact before it occurs,” including through labor impact assessments of public and private transportation that are considering the use of AV. It was.

“We know that AV can dramatically change the nature of service and work while endangering millions of jobs.”

Greg Regan

AFL-CIO Director of Transport and Trade

Mr. Palon said that domestic law on AV takes all these factors into account, even though Congress struggled to avoid this problem and instead cities and states have created their own regulatory frameworks. He said it was necessary.

“Parliament establishes strong workforce protection for people whose livelihoods could be compromised by the deployment of AV, ensuring that these technologies are developed and manufactured in the United States to protect the environment and the environment. We can bridge these gaps by creating a national roadmap for AV. American rights and security. “

But Large Kumar warned that the law must strike a balance between protecting workers and not hindering progress, otherwise other countries will move forward.

“Given the global competition to develop AV technology and extend it from transportation to manufacturing, agriculture, and across the country’s logistics infrastructure, it may seem like we’ll be holding some jobs in the short term. No good faith efforts can cost our country even more over time, “he said.

Shakowski said the new technology could improve people’s lives and improve road safety, but it couldn’t put their jobs at risk.

“Innovative and innovative transportation technology doesn’t have to sacrifice workers or domestic manufacturing,” she said.

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