Nov 19, 2019

Transportation Safety Board backs assessments for self-driving cars

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will recommend mandatory safety assessments for all self-driving cars before they can be tested on public roads, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The NTSB on Tuesday said it intends to pinpoint the need for “safety risk management requirements for testing automated vehicles on public roads,” leading to the broader question of how autonomous vehicles are tested and how the U.S. government oversees that process.

Context: A fatal, self-driving Uber crash in March 2018 in Arizona pushed the issue into the national spotlight. NTSB credited Uber's “ineffective safety culture," for the accident.

  • As noted by Axios' Joann Muller in April, lawmakers around the world are trying to write rules for self-driving cars before the technology advances too far.
  • Establishing global standards for the vehicles would aid manufacturers in design and sales, in addition to building public trust.

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Self-driving shuttle company May Mobility gets a $50 million lift from Toyota

May Mobility's Little Roady shuttle in Providence, Rhode Island. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

May Mobility, a self-driving electric shuttle company based in Ann Arbor, Mich., just raised $50 million in a Series B financing round led by Toyota.

Why it matters: The vote of confidence is more than financial. Toyota has also selected May Mobility as one of its partners to develop autonomous transportation-as-a-service for future mobility platforms.

Go deeperArrowDec 6, 2019

Podcast: Uber's sexual assault record

Uber has issued its first-ever safety report, which discloses that there were over 3,000 sexual assaults during rides in 2018. Dan digs in with the New York Times' Mike Isaac on what the disclosure means for riders, Uber and the future of transportation.

Go deeper: Uber's first-ever safety report cites 6,000 sex assaults in 2 years

Nothing but sunshine for AVs in Florida

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Florida has become a hotbed for self-driving cars, thanks to its mild weather, unique demographics, lenient laws and an ambitious state senator.

Why it matters: States at the forefront of autonomous vehicle testing stand to reap the economic benefits — and perhaps problems, too — of self-driving cars.

Go deeperArrowDec 13, 2019