National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

Pedestrians are dying while vehicle safety tech lags

A graphic of a car moving into a crosswalk.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The number of U.S. traffic fatalities remains stubbornly flat, while deaths among pedestrians and bicyclists are rising, despite available crash avoidance technology that could help.

The big picture: In a largely self-regulated industry, it's up to carmakers to decide which safety features to install in their cars, leaving potentially life-saving technology on the shelf. As they work to perfect self-driving cars, they must weigh valid safety concerns against whether there is a moral imperative to deploy autonomous vehicle technology faster if it will help save lives.

Senate joins probes into Boeing 737 MAX

Grounded Boeing 737 MAX planes
(Photo: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Sen. Ted Cruz will hold a Commerce subcommittee hearing next Wednesday examining the U.S. government's oversight of the Boeing 737 MAX, which has suffered two fatal crashes since October, leading to the grounding of the global fleet.

Between the lines: Cruz, who chairs the subcommittee on aviation and space, is seeking information on what various agencies knew about the plane's safety and where oversight processes may have gone wrong. Top officials from the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Department of Transportation will testify. Topics will include similarities between the two crashes, one in Indonesia in October and the other last week in Ethiopia.