Uber Crash Spotlights Self-Driving Wild West Hub

CLAIMS JOURNAL, 21 MARCH 2018, FEAT. PROF. BRYANT WALKER SMITH:

Just a few weeks before the deadly Uber accident, Arizona expanded its permissive stance toward autonomous vehicles. On March 1, the state issued an update to Governor Ducey 2015 executive order meant to reflect “advancements in technology and testing” of autonomous vehicles. In effect, the move permitted commercial robotaxi services, taking a step further than just allowing public-road testing, according to Bryant Walker Smith, an assistant professor of law at the University of South Carolina.

“The governor is in fact trying to facilitate more rather than less,” Smith said in an email.

The Uber accident highlights the need for transparent collaboration between industry and communities, said Thad Miller, a professor at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University, who has worked with Tempe’s mayor on how to plan for the advent of driverless cars. “Road safety and these other issues must be addressed as larger policy, infrastructure and political problems,” Miller said. “Then we can ask: Where do AVs fit in, and how can they help?”

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