Washington, D.C.—In response to Bloomberg Philanthropies’ announcement that it will commit a further $240 million to its support for global road safety, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) President and CEO Robbie Diamond made the following statement:
“We commend Bloomberg Philanthropies for this generous additional commitment to help curb traffic deaths worldwide. In 2018, more than 36,000 people died on U.S. roads alone—if a disease kills this many people, it is considered to be an epidemic and the world would be racing to find a vaccine. Luckily, we have technologies like driver-assist and crash-avoidance available today and autonomous vehicles on the horizon that should be considered as part of the cure to this epidemic.”
“It is for the government to expedite the process in which these technologies are approved and deployed safely to save over 3,000 lives per day worldwide. As 94 percent of crashes in the United States are due to human error, AVs are the vaccine for the epidemic unfolding on our roads every day,” Diamond added.
Research from Boston Consulting Group has concluded that 28 percent of all crashes in the U.S. could be prevented if all cars were equipped with the advanced driver assist technologies available today. As a result, these technologies could prevent approximately 9,900 fatalities and save about $251 billion to society every year.
In early 2017, SAFE convened a group of safety experts to create the Commission on Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Safety, which released a suite of recommendations designed to enable industry to lead on the safe and rapid deployment of AVs.
SAFE’s sister organization, the Electrification Coalition, is funded in part by a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies.