In a webinar this week, former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) head Mark Rosekind shared a stark statistic: Approximately 36,120 people died in motor vehicle accidents on U.S. roadways in 2019, with 94% of the crashes related to human choice or error.
The statistic set the stage for a conversation around autonomous vehicles (AV) and their potential to drastically reduce roadway accidents. The conversation, hosted by Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE), featured Rosekind — now the chief safety innovation officer at AV startup Zoox — and Chris Urmson, CEO of AV startup Aurora.
At the core of the conversation was an understanding that the success of self-driving vehicles will rely largely on consumer education and comprehension of the technology. In this respect, Rosekind and Urmson spoke candidly on the topics of technical development, cybersecurity, regulation and even the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to dispel common misconceptions regarding AVs.