Senators Markey, Blumenthal Begin Investigation Into Safety Protocol for Driverless Car Testing On Public Road

Caroline Diana

In February, a self-driving Uber test vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. This week, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its initial findings, which has raised many questions about the processes that self-driving car makers have in place to guard public safety when testing their vehicles on public roads.

Earlier this week, Senators Edward J. Markey and Richard Blumenthal wrote to major autonomous carmakers, asking them to explain in detail the safety measures they take while test-driving their vehicles.

According to the press release issued by Senator Markey, letters were sent to BMW of North America, Daimler Trucks North America, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company, Honda North America, Hyundai Motor America, Jaguar Land Rover Automotive North America, Kia Motors America, Mazda North American Operations, Mercedes-Benz USA, Mercedes-Benz Vans USA, Mitsubishi Motors North America, Nissan North America, Subaru of North America, Tesla, Toyota Motor North America, Volkswagen Group of America, Volvo Car USA, Amazon, Apple, Intel Corporation, Lyft, NVIDIA Corporation, Uber Technologies, and Waymo.

"Although we understand that Uber and several other AV companies have temporarily halted vehicle testing, we would like to know more about your company's protocols for test-driving AVs on public roads and how they will be adjusted in light of the recent tragedy," the senators said in a joint statement.

In their letter, Senators Markey and Blumenthal sought answers to ten questions. A few of them are listed below: