As autonomous vehicle testing ramps up, Argo AI announced the formation of a panel of outside experts to oversee the safe deployment of its technology.
The startup, which is backed by Ford and Volkswagen, will “provide feedback on Argo’s safety and security practices and policies, including maintaining a world-class safety culture, scaling securely across multiple cities and countries, and launching and operating it responsibly.” of commercial driverless services,” the company said.
The announcement comes as public opinion appears to be turning on autonomous vehicles (AVs), with recent surveys suggesting that nearly half of Americans think AVs would be a “bad idea” for society. And it comes as the Biden administration continues to investigate crashes involving autonomous vehicles as it weighs in on new industry regulations.
The Argo Safety Advisory Council aims to improve the public’s perception of AVs while bringing greater transparency to the work that goes on behind the scenes.
“At Argo, safety is our fundamental value,” Bryan Salesky, CEO and founder of Argo AI, said in a statement. “Autonomous vehicles have the potential to have a profound and positive impact on road safety and accessibility in cities.”
The advisory board will consist of:
- Christopher “Todd” Doss, senior managing director of cybersecurity at Ankura and former deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
- dr. Mitchell Garber, senior managing consultant at ESi and former medical officer of the National Transportation Safety Board
- David Kelly, Director and CEO at Storm King Strategies and former Acting Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Annette Sandberg, Director and CEO at TransSafe Consulting and former Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
- Robert Sumwalt, executive director of the Center for Aviation and Aerospace Safety at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and past chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board
Like most AV companies with cars on the road, Argo AI has been involved in a handful of crashes. One of the company’s self-driving cars was involved in an accident in Pittsburgh in 2018 that took two people to hospital. Argo AI reported 10 crashes involving one of its autonomous test vehicles to the National Highway Traffic Administration as part of the agency’s AV incident table.
In recent years, Argo has tested its fourth-generation vehicles in Miami, Washington, DC and Austin, Texas, as well as Pittsburgh, Detroit and cities in California. The company is also preparing to launch an autonomous micro-transit and delivery service with VW in Germany using its fifth-generation autonomous technology, starting in 2025. Argo is the latest to routinely test its vehicles without human safety drivers behind the wheel. wheels, echoing Waymo, Cruise and Motional.