The Virginia Highway Safety Office’s most recent data shows that Virginia had 131,848 traffic crashes in 2018 with 819 fatalities and 66,523 injured people. 18.3 percent of crashes occurred on the interstate compared to 81.7 percent on other roads.
Tesla has also been subject to scrutiny for crashes, some of them fatal, involving its Autopilot driver assistance system, which is not a full self-driving technology since a human driver is still required to pay attention, but critics have argued that it gives drivers a false sense of security.
The National Transportation Safety Board said in September that Tesla’s Autopilot contributed to a January 2018 accident in California, the second time that the company was found partially responsible for a crash, according to Wired.
“The car industry has really come to the realization that autonomy is not going to be easy to get to,” Reina, who has worked for European car companies, said. “… There are very severe safety concerns. This technology cannot be launched without it being utterly foolproof. We’re talking about people’s lives.”
Reina argues that autonomous technology does not pose the same safety risks for trucks, since the technology is being implemented in a more controlled way.
“They’re embracing it in a way that makes more sense for them,” Reina said. “Use the vehicles, the trucks, on the highway, and look at how overall we can improve the efficiency and improve the profitability of our industry and how that can affect everybody.”