Return to News Mar 09, 2017

Safety, Disability, & Mobility Advocates Partner With Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets

Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets announced partnerships with five of the country’s leading proponents for the safety and mobility benefits offered by self-driving vehicles.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving, National Federation of the Blind, United Spinal Association, the R Street Institute, and Mobility 4 All join the Coalition to work together with lawmakers, regulators, and the public to promote the benefits of fully self-driving vehicles. The diverse group of partners demonstrates the wide array of stakeholders with a strong interest in supporting the safe and rapid deployment of self-driving vehicles.

Founding members Ford, Lyft, Uber, Volvo Cars and Waymo established the Coalition to bring the promise of self-driving vehicles to America’s roads and highways – a vision of improved safety and increased mobility that the Partner organizations share.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mothers Against Drunk Driving, National Federation of the Blind, United Spinal Association, the R Street Institute, and Mobility 4 All as partners of the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets,” said Coalition General Counsel David Strickland. “Each organization comes to the table with a unique area of expertise. Together, we are united behind the advancement of self-driving technology as an opportunity to protect our loved ones and increase mobility for millions.”

“A world of opportunity will open for people with disabilities as a result of autonomous vehicles. United Spinal is proud to be part of the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets,” said Jim Weisman, President & CEO of the United Spinal Association.

“MADD is pleased to be a partner in the coalition,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church.  “Autonomous vehicle technology and specifically driverless cars could be a game changer in behavioral traffic safety. Driverless cars have the potential to help eliminate drunk, drugged, and drowsy driving. A fully autonomous vehicle would stop a drunk or drugged driver simply because they can’t physically drive the vehicle.”

"The National Federation of the Blind has been engaged in research and experimentation surrounding the potential for new vehicle technology since the early 2000s,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “We are therefore enthusiastic about the work of the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, and  we are eager to contribute our expertise to foster sound public policy and accessible user interface designs that will finally empower the blind with the freedom and independence that other drivers take for granted and the benefits that autonomous vehicles offer to everyone. I look forward to the work that we will do together toward a safer, more mobile future in which all of us, blind and sighted, can hit the road and live the lives we want.”

"The R Street Institute is excited to join the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets. With our new partners, we look forward to energetically addressing the varied legislative and regulatory challenges that may delay or disrupt the deployment of self-driving vehicles,” said Ian Adams of the R Street Institute.

"Mobility 4 All's commitment to ensure that self driving vehicles serve ALL people, especially those with disabilities and seniors, is in 100% alignment with the Coalition's goals. This technology will provide independence, freedom and safe travel for millions of Americans who are not able to drive,” said John Doan of Mobility 4 All.

More than 35,000 fatalities occurred on America’s roads in 2015, and data trends indicate those numbers are on the rise for 2016. An estimated 94% of crashes occur due to human error. By removing humans from the driving process, self-driving vehicles have the potential to enhance public safety, improve mobility for the elderly and disabled, reduce traffic congestion, and increase productivity.