Consumers Union statement on federal report on Uber self-driving car crash in Arizona

Experts

Senior Policy Analyst
Vice President, Advocacy
Sr. Director, Strategic Communications

Thursday, May 24, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, today made the following statement after the National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report on the fatal March crash of an Uber self-driving car in Tempe, Arizona.

William Wallace, senior policy analyst for Consumers Union, said, “This report makes it clear that a self-driving car was tested on public roads when it wasn’t safe enough to be there, and it killed a pedestrian. That’s the bottom line. Uber’s system couldn’t properly understand and react to its surroundings and relied excessively on the human operator, and was far too dangerous to be tested off a closed track.

“Everyone on our roads shares the responsibility for safety, and Uber blatantly neglected to do its part. Uber’s recklessness underscores the danger of rushing self-driving cars onto roads, and a pending Senate bill, the AV START Act, would only make it worse. Congress must improve the bill and set strong, sensible rules for these cars. Major automakers and companies like Uber, Waymo, and Tesla are lobbying the government for weaker standards. Elected officials should not let them sidestep the rules designed to keep consumers safe, just so they can make a profit faster,” Wallace added.

***

Contact: David Butler, dbutler@consumer.org, 202-462-6262, ext. 7416