When Uber’s autonomous vehicle hit and killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg on March 18th, we learned we can’t trust Uber to operate its computer-driven cars safely yet. In video after video, it is clear that visibility was good and that a human driver would not have killed Ms. Herzberg. When yet another fatal accident involving a semi-autonomous Tesla ended the life of 38-year-old Wei Huang just five days later, our leaders should have taken action.
Yet, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is allowing Uber and any other company to operate cars without human drivers on our local streets and even freeways right now. But they aren’t ready.
These companies just haven’t developed or fine-tuned the technology to the point that they’re ready to test-drive automated vehicles on public streets across our state. The CA DMV knows that.
The California DMV should cancel any autonomous vehicle permits and hold off on issuing any more until Uber as well as companies like Google, Lyft, Tesla, and many others can prove their driverless cars won’t hit pedestrians and people on bikes clearly visible in their path.
Our local partner, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, is at ground zero for computer-driven car testing. They have formally requested that the DMV cancel their permits and we are supporting them in that request.
The DMV posted a public notice on their website for just 30 days. We think you should have a better opportunity to tell them what you think.
Please join us and add your name today to tell the DMV that Californians believe these new technologies should be safe before they’re allowed on our streets.