Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) have the potential to improve road safety, provide mobility for those unable to drive and yield other benefits. Today these goals remain aspirational. However, AV testing on public roads poses serious risks to vulnerable road users. Despite these risks, the AV industry campaigns for favorable regulatory treatment for both current testing and future general deployment. This campaign to limit meaningful regulation relies on a number of myths about AVs that are easily debunked.
Safely operating immature, developmental technology on public roads, even with safety drivers, requires transparency and cooperation. Yet the industry’s stance towards regulatory authorities is all too often one of stonewalling, empty rhetoric, and opacity. To make matters worse, few regulatory agencies have deep expertise in the area of AVs, and so can struggle to counter unreasonable AV company statements.
To help level the playing field, here is a “Dirty Dozen” list of myths commonly used by the industry in discussions regarding regulatory oversight for AVs.