The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) issued the following statement in response to the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ decision to suspend Cruise LLC’s deployment and driverless testing permits over concerns about vehicle safety, and Cruise’s decision to voluntarily suspend AV testing nationwide:
“The increasing safety concerns posed by autonomous vehicle testing in cities make clear that governments can not afford to take a wait-and-see approach to regulation,” said Corinne Kisner, Executive Director of NACTO. “In San Francisco and other NACTO member cities, AVs have injured pedestrians, collided with city buses, downed overhead wires, and interfered with emergency response efforts. AV testing has expanded with minimal oversight, and city governments often have little say over how their streets are used for testing. This combination puts residents’ and commuters’ safety at risk.
“This latest incident underscores the need for clear national standards for testing this still-nascent technology,” Kisner said. “Cities and companies need clear federal regulations for AV testing that ensure the safest and best AV technologies are successful on the market.”
The federal government, in partnership with cities and states, must craft AV policy that is forward-thinking, holistic, and focused on safety, equity and sustainability. By creating strong safety standards, the federal government can lay the foundation for a safe, people-focused transportation system in which autonomous vehicles exist alongside transit, bike and pedestrian infrastructure. Strong regulations will also incentivize the safest, most robust technologies to come to market–underpinning American competitiveness in what may be a major international market.
By implementing proactive policies today, both states and the federal government can help ensure AV technology supports a safer and more sustainable transportation system, while also encouraging a competitive, innovative American AV industry. NACTO and our member cities are ready to help make that vision a reality.
About the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)
NACTO is an association of 100 major North American cities and transit agencies formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. The organization’s mission is to build cities as places for people, with safe, sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation choices that support a strong economy and vibrant quality of life. To learn more, visit NACTO.org or follow us on Twitter at @NACTO and Instagram at @NACTOcities.
About the Blueprint for Autonomous Urbanism
NACTO’s Blueprint for Autonomous Urbanism focus on the near-term policies and decisions that are necessary for autonomous technologies to improve transportation outcomes, rather than lead to an overall decrease in safety, and increase in driving, greenhouse gas emissions, and diminished public space in cities. To learn more, visit NACTO.org/publication/bau2/.
Alex Engel | [email protected]
Billy Richling | [email protected]
For Immediate Release
October 27, 2023