“Toyota’s James Kuffner is among a global band of safety experts proposing a radical goal for the auto industry: zero traffic deaths.
Kuffner, chief technology officer at the Toyota Research Institute in Palo Alto, Calif., says that if the industry moves decisively, within a decade “the probability of being killed in a traffic accident would be smaller than being killed by lightning.”
But automakers must speed the usual decades long pace of adoption of new technology, safety experts say, and get advanced data-crunching, crash-avoidance and communications capability into vehicles as quickly as possible.
“The longer it isn’t deployed,” Kuffner says, “the more people die.” . . .
Since 2000, automakers have introduced an array of safety technology: forward-collision warning, rear cameras, lane-departure warning, traffic-jam assist, adaptive cruise control and the like.
Put it all together, says Mark Rosekind, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and “We’re right on the technological cusp. We have this totally new, really exciting chance to make a difference.”
Well, I am indeed happy to see that attitude. But I wonder why that has not translated into a push for a National Vision Zero Goal. How much more might we accomplish with a shared VISION in place to guide us forward more quickly and effectively as a country in this direction?
NHTSA’s Mark Rosekind was also quoted in this recent article: It’s No Accident: Advocates Want to Speak of Car ‘Crashes’ Instead
“When you use the word ‘accident,’ it’s like, ‘God made it happen,’ ” Mark Rosekind, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said at a driver safety conference this month at the Harvard School of Public Health.
“In our society,” he added, “language can be everything.”
Dr. Rosekind has added his voice to a growing chorus of advocates who say that the persistence of crashes — driving is the most dangerous activity for most people — can be explained in part by widespread apathy toward the issue.
Over 20,000 people signed their name to our Vision Zero Petition. Is anybody listening?