Automakers and tech companies are evaluating whether or not to suspend their autonomous vehicle programs in the aftermath of the first fatality involving a self-driving vehicle, an accident that has raised safety concerns.
In reaction to the fatal accident involving an Uber autonomous vehicle, Arizona officials said they do not see an immediate need to modify rules on the testing of self-driving cars in the state.
On Tuesday, Arizona’s director for policy and communications at the state’s department of transportation, Kevin Biesty, said existing regulations were sufficient and that the state had no immediate plans to issue new rules.
“We believe we have enough in our laws right now to regulate automobiles,” Biesty told Reuters. “There will be issues that the legislature will have to address in the future as these become more widespread.”
Meanwhile, both Uber and Toyota Motor Corp said it will pause autonomous vehicle testing following the accident.
Toyota said the incident could have an “emotional effect” on its test drivers: “This ‘timeout’ is meant to give them time to come to a sense of balance about the inherent risks of their jobs.”
The fatal accident is drawing attention to questions about the safety of autonomous vehicle systems, and the challenges of testing them on public streets.
Self-driving cars have been involved in minor accidents, with nearly all of them being blamed on human motorists hitting the autonomous vehicle.