Center for Auto Safety says government rules could determine whether consumers are willing to give self-driving vehicles a shot.
The Center for Auto Safety is calling for government oversight of automated vehicles, warning that another fatality— like one in Florida last year involving a Tesla—could set back public acceptance of self-driving technology by decades.
While no fully autonomous vehicles are currently available to consumers, Tesla and other manufacturers have produced cars with varying levels of self-driving capabilities.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earlier this year published a voluntary policy on automated driving systems and has since indicated that it will continue on a self-regulatory route for self-driving cars when it updates its policy next year.
The approach allowing the industry to regulate itself could further harm consumer perceptions of automated vehicles, according to the non-profit consumer group.
“There may never be a more critical moment in the development of the self-driving car technology in terms of consumer acceptance,” said Jason Levine, the center’s executive director, in prepared remarks before the NHTSA at the Department of Transportation Monday.