Car of the Future Weekly Roundup for March 21, 2018

In this week’s Car of the Future Weekly Roundup

–Uber AV hits and kills woman in Tempe, AZ—
–Before that, U.S. Debates AV regulations—
–Loophole protects Automakers from AV crash liability—
–China to see AVs in 3 to 5 years–

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NMA Car of the Future Stories of the Week

Autonomous Uber likely not at fault in woman’s death, police chief says
The police chief in Tempe, Ariz., has told the San Francisco Chronicle that a preliminary look at video of the fatal crash involving a self-driving Uber car in Tempe indicates “that the Uber would likely not be at fault in this accident.” Elaine Herzberg, 49, was pushing a bicycle laden with shopping bags around 10 p.m. Sunday when she suddenly walked from a center median into a lane of traffic and was struck by the Uber-equipped Volvo XC90. There was a human behind the wheel of the car, but it was traveling in autonomous mode. The Uber was going 38 mph in a 35 zone and made no attempt to brake. “The driver said it was like a flash, the person walked out in front of them,” said Police Chief Sylvia Moir. The driver’s “first alert to the collision was the sound of the collision.” Herzberg was unconscious at the scene when medics arrived and later died at a hospital. Hers is the first pedestrian death involving an autonomous vehicle.

Consumer Watchdog Joins Coalition Demanding DOT Exercise Strong Oversight of Driverless Vehicles
The group Consumer Watchdog said it has joined a broad coalition calling on the U.S. Department of Transportation to fulfill its legal obligation to ensure effective oversight for the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles. In a letter to DOT Secretary Elaine Chao, the 26 signatories to the letter assert: “The department and its safety agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), have chosen to be detached spectators instead of engaged safety regulators during one of the most crucial and critical times in the history of automobiles. Unfortunately, inaction and indifference have grave and dangerous consequences for everyone — passengers in driverless cars, other motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and members of the disability community.”

Loophole would protect self-driving car companies from lawsuits
People riding in self-driving cars that crash could find themselves unable to hold the manufacturer accountable if legislation currently pending on Capitol Hill is passed, consumer advocates warn.

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