Safe Kids Worldwide has organized the Children in Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) Consortium, an 18-month volunteer effort focused on the safety needs of children under 13 in an evolving transportation era. The consortium, consisting of two working groups (Policy, Legislation & Enforcement and Public Information & Education), will follow up on the recommendations of a blue-ribbon panel that met in April 2018 (www.safekids.org/avs). Also, anyone interested in this topic is encouraged to click on the website’s link to join the Children in AVs Interest Group. Members of this group will receive updates from the consortium and can submit questions and information to the consortium’s working groups.
Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are a hot topic in today’s news, with the efforts of vehicle and technology companies regularly making headlines. Evidence of these efforts can be seen all around the country. In 2011, Nevada was the first state to authorize the operation of autonomous vehicles, and to date, 38 states have passed legislation or regulations regarding AVs, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. These authorized activities ranging from studies on AVs to vehicle testing with or without a human operator.
In the future, will caregivers be inclined to utilize the convenience of autonomous vehicles to transport their children independently to their many activities? What will happen if children, who are not cognitively capable of taking over control of a vehicle in an emergency, ride alone? And, what assurances will there be that unaccompanied children will be cared for properly at their destination or after a traffic incident?
This guest article for Safe Ride News was contributed by Lorrie Walker, Training and Technical Advisor of Safe Kids Worldwide.
Safe Kids Worldwide convened a Blue Ribbon Panel that met in April 2018 to highlight the need to address the safety of child occupants in autonomous vehicles (AVs). For this discussion, the panel defined “child” as one who is under age 13. Read More from “Consider Children in Autonomous Vehicles”
I’d have to have my head planted firmly in the sand if my initial skepticism about self-driving vehicles hasn’t budged over time. In a few short years, what has gone from bold predictions by certain tech giants has developed into mainstream acceptance. Target dates for various rollouts of autonomous vehicles seem right around the corner, rather than in some sci-fi future. In September, the DOT released safety guidelines for autonomous vehicle performance, including a model for state policies.