Report Finds Hacking Of Internet Connected Cars Big National Security Threat

Los Angeles, CA – The nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog has issued a report, with the help of car industry technologists, that finds all the top 2020 cars have Internet connections to safety critical systems that leave them vulnerable to fleet wide hacks. 

The group and experts warn that a fleet wide hack at rush-hour could result in a 9-11 scale catastrophe with approximately 3,000 deaths.  

Rein In Robot Cars, Or Humans Will Lose The Right Of Way

People are fighting back against robot cars.

Self-driving cars being tested in Arizona by Waymo, a Google sister company, have been attacked by residents in at least 21 separate incidents, according to the Arizona Republic. People in the Chandler area have thrown rocks at the cars, slashed their tires and run them off the road. One man even pulled a gun on a Waymo test driver.

Consumer Watchdog Joins Broad Coalition Telling Senate to Put Brakes on Flawed Robot Car Bill

LOS ANGELES – Consumer Watchdog has joined an alliance of more than 75 local, state and national organizations representing safety, law enforcement and first responders, public health, bicyclists and pedestrians, engineering, environmental and consumer groups, disability communities and families affected by motor vehicle crashes calling on the Senate to oppose a flawed autonomous vehicle bill. 

California DMV’s Approval for Waymo to Test Driverless Robot Cars Is Premature

LOS ANGELES, CA – The California Department of Motor Vehicles approval today of Waymo’s application to test driverless robot cars in Santa Clara County is premature and key questions must be answered by both Waymo, Google’s driverless car unit, and the Department before any testing starts, Consumer Watchdog said.

Consumer Watchdog Calls for Strong Regulations on Robot Car Testing After NTSB Crash Report Reveals Deficiencies in Uber’s Technology

LOS ANGELES, CA – Robot car developers cannot be trusted to safely test their cars on public roads without strong government regulation and oversight, said Consumer Watchdog today, after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a report revealing that the Uber car that killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona in March had its automatic emergency braking system turned off as part of its effort to test its robot technology.

Consumer Watchdog Calls on DMV to Open Robot Car Application Process to Public after Waymo Application Is Deemed Ready for Review

LOS ANGELES, CA – Consumer Watchdog today called on the Department of Motor Vehicles to open its application process for granting permits to test driverless robot cars to the public as the department confirmed an applicant had provided all the information necessary to review the application.

The department would not identify the applicant, but Consumer Watchdog learned it was Waymo, originally Google’s autonomous car unit. A DMV spokesperson would not specify a timeframe but estimated it would take at least some weeks before a final decision is made on the application.

DMV Says First Application for Testing Robot Cars Without Driver Lacked Needed Information

LOS ANGELES, CA – The California Department of Motor Vehicles confirmed today that the first application to test robot cars without a driver lacked necessary information and that a letter has been sent to the still-unidentified applicant asking for additional information.

Consumer Watchdog Says NHTSA Needs More Data Before Paving the Road For Unregulated Robot Cars

SANTA MONICA, CA --- Shortly following the death of a pedestrian killed by a robot car over the weekend in Tempe, Arizona, Consumer Watchdog called on the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to collect more data about robot cars before changing federal policies that would effectively pave the road for unregulated robot cars. 

Consumer Watchdog Joins Coalition Demanding DOT Exercise Strong Oversight of Robot Cars

SANTA MONICA, CA – Consumer Watchdog has joined a broad coalition representing public health and safety professionals, bicyclists, pedestrians, smart growth advocates, consumers, environmentalists, law enforcement, first responders, and individuals with disabilities in calling on the U.S. Department of Transportation to fulfill its legal obligation to ensure effective oversight for the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles.

In a letter today to DOT Secretary Elaine Chao the 26 signatories to the letter warned:

Speed Not Safety Is California Senate’s Concern In Robot Car Hearing

The California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee’s hearing this week, “Autonomous Vehicles: Opportunities and Challenges,” was meant to be an opportunity to field questions and concerns representing both public and private interests about putting self-driving cars on the road. Instead, the Senate committee’s investment in protecting corporate interests ultimately outweighed senators’ concern for the public. 

Consumer Watchdog Warns DMV Adopted GM Robot Car Rule Language Exceeds Its Authority

SANTA MONICA, CA – Language adopted from a General Motors suggestion by the California Department of Motor Vehicles in its revised proposed autonomous vehicle regulations would “let robot carmakers railroad consumers” into being liable for car crashes when the robot driver fails and the rule exceeds DMV’s authority, Consumer Watchdog warned today.

House “Bipartisan” Robot Car Bill Threatens Highway Safety, Consumer Watchdog Warns

SANTA MONICA, CA -- A bill covering autonomous vehicles that the House of Representatives rushed to pass today threatens highway safety and leaves a regulatory void rather than enacting necessary protections, Consumer Watchdog warned today.

The bill, passed on a voice vote, under rules to expedite consideration, was being touted in some quarters as an example of new-found Congressional bipartisanship.

“Bipartisanship is worthless when it produces a dangerous bill,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director.

Consumer Watchdog Warns Bill Pre-empting State Robot Car Laws Approved by House Commerce Committee Would Leave Dangerous Regulatory Void Threatening Highway Safety

SANTA MONICA, CA -- Consumer Watchdog warned that a bill approved today by the House Commerce Committee that would pre-empt state autonomous vehicle safety regulations would leave a regulatory void without meaningful safety protections.

“Pre-empting the states’ ability to fill the gap left by federal inaction on safety standards leaves us at the mercy of manufacturers as they use our public highways as their private laboratories however they wish with no safety protections at all,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog Privacy Project Director.

Consumer Watchdog Calls on California Representatives to Oppose Congressional Robot Car Legislation That Would Undermine California’s Safety Protections on Testing Self-Driving Cars

SANTA MONICA, CA – Consumer Watchdog today called on California’s seven members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to block proposed federal legislation that would undo California’s ground-breaking safety regulations covering the testing of autonomous vehicles.

NHTSA Must Quickly Enact Enforceable Safety Standards for Robot Cars or States Must Move If Feds Fail to Do Their Job, Consumer Watchdog Tells “Automated Vehicles Symposium 2017”

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Consumer Watchdog today called on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to promptly adopt enforceable federal safety standards covering self-driving autonomous vehicles and warned that if the federal efforts stall, states must act immediately to fill the void and protect consumer safety.

Consumer Watchdog Calls on Congress to Ensure Safety Standards for Robot Cars

SANTA MONICA, CA -- Consumer Watchdog today called on Congress to ensure the adoption of federal safety standards to cover self-driving autonomous vehicles and warned that proposed House legislation that would pre-empt state safety regulations “would leave a regulatory void without meaningful safety protections.”

In a formal statement filed with the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection for its hearing Tuesday on self-driving legislation, Consumer Watchdog’s John M. Simpson warned: