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U.S. Federal Policy Updates

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5/17/18: Click here to read the recap of the Infrastructure Week Twitter Chat, hosted by APBP on May 17.

3/30/18: Click here to read the Storify version of the Automated Vehicle Twitter Chat, hosted by APBP on March 30.

 

Statement in Response to Automated Vehicle Pedestrian Fatality

March 23, 2018 - Early in the morning of Monday March 19, a pedestrian was killed by an automated vehicle (AV) in Tempe, Arizona. The National Transportation Safety Board, an independent agency charged with investigating transportation crashes, is examining this specific incident and we hope their findings shed light on exactly how this crash occurred. 

This tragedy is a reminder that we need to examine how these vehicles are being tested and what criteria automated vehicles must meet before being deployed on our roads. Current legislation in the US Senate requires manufacturers to test their vehicles’ ability to recognize and respond to bicyclists and pedestrians, but leave the design and implementation of the tests to the manufacturers.

The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) is glad to see a detailed investigation into this incident and any in the future. We believe that more research and testing is needed to ensure automated vehicles are able to recognize and respond to pedestrians and bicyclists. The federal government (or a government-commissioned third party) should create that test, and there should be transparency regarding how well a vehicle performs before it is allowed on community streets.

APBP also supports recommendations developed by industry experts to establish guidelines and city interactions with AVs, including: National Association of City Transportation Officials’ (NACTO’s) Blueprint for Autonomous Urbanism, U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Automated Vehicles Policy, and the American Planning Association’s (APA’s) Principles for Autonomous Vehicle Policy

Automated driving systems offer real potential in terms of reducing traffic deaths and serious injuries, but only if they are robustly tested to meet specified safety standards.

 

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