"Safety Through Awareness, Awareness Through Eduction"
"Safety Through Awareness, Awareness Through Eduction"

Self-Driving Cars

There is no doubt that next month during “Bikers Insider the Beltway” self-driving cars will be a major topic of discussion!

During every Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) presentation around the country, we lay out our agenda, which includes concerns over the deployment of self-driving or autonomous vehicles. One point that is hammered home is that these vehicles are on the roads right now and bikers should be aware of that fact. Most people understand this, but just in case, a recent story from San Francisco might open some eyes.

Last week a self-driving car was pulled over by police, and NO ONE WAS INSIDE. The vehicle was pulled over for operating without its headlights on, no doubt a safety concern.  Yet after the police officer returned to his patrol car to confer with his partner, the self-driving car took off and fled before being pulled over again.

While it’s hard not to laugh at the idea of a car with no driver fleeing the police, it does raise a major issue the MRF has been worried about, the lack of oversight and rush to deploy this new technology without proper oversight. Specifically, the MRF has pressed lawmakers to require these auto manufacturers attest that their technology can read, respond, and react to all roadway users and more specifically that motorcyclists are accounted for.

Some in Washington D.C. seem to understand, Jennifer Homendy, the chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently said about the deployment of this technology “We essentially have the Wild West on our roads right now.” Adding, “It is a disaster waiting to happen.”

To see the 2-minute video of the police interacting with a driverless car click here.

There is no doubt that next month during “Bikers Insider the Beltway” self-driving cars will be a major topic of discussion!

As always, Ride Safe and Ride Free.


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