Remember Elaine Herzberg, the 49-year-old woman who became the first pedestrian fatality due to an autonomous vehicle when she was hit last March by an Uber with a safety driver in Tempe, Ariz.? Prosecutors found no criminal liability.
Among the factors that stand out in the "Spotlight on Highway Safety" report released Thursday by the Governors Highway Safety Association is increased "death by SUV," which kill at a higher rate than cars. Distraction, however, is hard to prove.
Experts who watched the videos taken by onboard cameras equipped in the Volvo SUV that hit Elaine Herzberg determined that Uber's automated driving system failed to perform adequately. The crash points to a need for regulations.
NHTSA's announcement that automatic emergency braking will become standard on almost all new vehicles by 2022 will have dramatic safety implications for drivers and passengers, but will it prevent crashes with pedestrians and cyclists?