Consumers Union statement on reports of self-driving Uber car, pedestrian fatality

Experts

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

 

Monday, March 19, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, made the following statement today following the news reports of a pedestrian fatality involving a self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona:

David Friedman, Director of Cars and Product Policy and Analysis, Consumers Union, said, “All of our thoughts and sympathies go out to the victim’s loved ones after this tragedy.

“Sadly, this is a reminder of the risk that comes with rushing to get more and more self-driving cars on public roads before we know they are safe. The promise of self-driving cars is that they can avoid fatalities, but this tragedy makes clear they have a long way to go.

“Right now, Congress is focused on exempting these cars from safety standards in an effort to get them on the market faster. Congress needs to shift its focus to ensuring these cars are safe.

“We are encouraged that teams from both NHTSA and NTSB are investigating this crash. Those investigations will be critical to charting a safer path going forward.”

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

Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Consumers Union works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.