Robot cars pose ‘unprecedented risks and costs’, warns Consumer Watchdog

robot cars

Robot cars pose unprecedented risks to the American public, Consumer Watchdog warned in a report, Self-Driving Vehicles: The Threat to Consumers.

In a representation to the Senate, Consumer Watchdog says robot cars – also known as driverless, self-driving, autonomous or highly-automated cars – require mandatory safety, security, privacy and ethical standards.

The organisation also warned that getting Madd is not enough.

The Consumer Watchdog report is being issued in conjunction with a day-long program, Driverless Cars: The Legal Landscape, sponsored by George Washington University Law School and a hearing by the Senate Commerce Committee, Paving the Way for Self-Driving Vehicles.  Continue reading Robot cars pose ‘unprecedented risks and costs’, warns Consumer Watchdog

President Barack Obama appoints GM CEO Mary Barra to advisory panel on self-driving cars

General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra

US President Barack Obama has appointed General Motors chief executive Mary Barra to a newly created advisory committee on self-driving cars, and critics are already saying she should be the first person to whom the incoming president, Donald Trump, should say: “You’re fired.” 

Consumer advocates called on President-elect Donald Trump to make Barra his first firing and remove her as co-chairman of the newly created Department of Transportation Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation.

In a letter to Trump, Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, John Simpson, the group’s privacy project director, and Joan Claybrook, chair of Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, wrote: “As you know, robot cars, trucks, drones and other technology threaten to replace tens of millions of American jobs, pose a danger to the safety of our roads and public spaces, and come with significant privacy and security threats.

“We should not allow the robot makers alone to oversee the safety of vehicles coming out of robot factories, but the Obama Administration’s eleventh hour appointments do just that.”  Continue reading President Barack Obama appoints GM CEO Mary Barra to advisory panel on self-driving cars

US government officials criticized for ‘inappropriate’ relationship with autonomous car developer Google

rights for robots

Consumer Watchdog has called on US President Barack Obama to hold expected autonomous vehicle policies and stop the administration’s undue haste to get autonomous vehicle technology on the road after newly released documents showed “an inappropriate and possibly unethical relationship between Google and key members of your administration involved in developing autonomous vehicle policy”. 

In a letter to Obama, John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project director, writes: “The new revelations make it even more imperative that any such NHTSA policy statements be delayed until adequate Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards covering autonomous technologies are implemented through a public rule-making process.”  Continue reading US government officials criticized for ‘inappropriate’ relationship with autonomous car developer Google