Self driving cars safety data should be made public to lawmakers. Currently in the US, automakers are pushing the US Congress to pass rules unleashing tens of thousands of self driving cars as test vehicles on US highways. We agree with the US Congress that the existing safety data the auto makers have accumulated so far on the safety record of self-driving vehicles should be made public prior to enacting any laws allowing self driving vehicles.
We say this as a law firm that is strongly in support of self driving vehicles because the safety data, according to the automakers, will make self driving cars multiples of factors safer than human drivers thus saving lives and reducing serious injuries. As well, the self driving vehicles will provide transportation for the disabled and the elderly.
Indeed, given all the tragic fatalities and serious injuries we have witnessed in our law practice as fatal accident and personal injury lawyers, we welcome the day and look forward to the day arriving earlier rather than later when we will no longer be able to practice fatal accident law or personal injury law because there simply aren’t any fatalities or serious injuries on our highways anymore.
Regarding the debate before the US Congress right now, the proposed law would allow large amounts of safety data accumulated by, for example, manufacturers like Tesla to be given only to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the automakers. The auto makers are citing competition concerns about sharing their data.
The consumer groups including numerous law professors have argued before Congress that the data needs to be available to everyone so that there can be a full and frank discussion about the true safety of the data which is currently available and not simply leaving it up to the NHTSA which can come under political pressure to pass laws.
Consumer groups, note that there would be nobody “guarding the guards” if the data is not made widely available.
At Handel Law Firm, we agree that the safety data of self driving vehicle should be available to the public so that there can be a full and wide-ranging debate about how and when laws should be passed allowing self driving vehicles on our highways.