Amidst growing public questions and concerns about current and future automated vehicle (AV) technology, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has announced that it has joined the Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE) coalition.
PAVE is a coalition of industry, nonprofit and academic institutions with the aim of informing and educating the public and policymakers on the facts regarding automated vehicles so that they can fully participate in shaping the future of transportation. The GHSA’s new partnership with PAVE members, including the National Safety Council, AAA, automakers, technology companies and other key safety leaders, will help make use of State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) to bring realistic, factual safety information about AVs to policymakers, the media and the traveling public. A growing body of evidence suggests that the public has limited knowledge of AV technology and what the operator’s responsibilities should be, and many motorists report that they do not want to use automated features. This lack of understanding and enthusiasm is in part because of the many mixed, confusing or inaccurate messages about automation.
In May, GHSA and the State Farm insurance group assembled an interdisciplinary expert panel for a meeting at Arlington, Virginia in the Washington DC area to develop ideas for how to deliver safety messages to the public and how to prepare the criminal justice community as AVs take the road. GHSA will release a white paper summarizing the expert panel outcomes later this summer and discuss the paper at its 2019 Annual Meeting, from August 26-28 in Anaheim, California, which will also feature speakers from Uber, Waymo, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and other leading voices on AV safety.
“We need to work together to raise public awareness of what AV technology can and can’t do,” said Jonathan Adkins, the GHSA’s executive director. “New technologies can help us on the road to zero deaths, but only if everyone understands, trusts and wants to safely use these features. Seeing is believing. We are encouraged that PAVE is sponsoring hands-on workshops for the public to personally experience and learn about the safe use of AVs, and the states, through GHSA, will be able to potentially bring these workshops to wider audiences.”