Policy Solutions on the Agenda as New NHTSA Estimates Show Traffic Fatalities Reached 16-Year High in 2021
Washington, D.C., May 25, 2022 – As lawmakers and regulators absorb troubling new data on rising traffic fatalities, the Lidar Coalition is hosting its inaugural Policy Summit to discuss the potential life-saving benefits of lidar technology and its role in reducing roadway deaths. The Summit will bring together high-level industry and government leaders on the cutting edge of emerging transportation technology and its intersection with public policy.
AEye, Cepton, Continental, Innoviz, Ouster, Quanergy Systems, and Velodyne Lidar formed the Lidar Coalition to advocate for policies that will help to remedy the staggering rise in pedestrian fatalities in the United States. Speakers and panel participants at the Summit include Congressman Peter DeFazio, chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; Egan Smith, Managing Director of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office; and C-Suite Executives from lidar companies. Panels will address how vehicle technology can help to make our roadways safer and more equitable, and how such technology fits into a safe systems approach.
“With protecting pedestrians and other vulnerable road users top of mind, lidar manufacturers and government officials are coming together to discuss and advance solutions to the growing safety problem on America’s roads,” said Ariel Wolf, partner at Venable LLP and head of the firm’s Autonomous and Connected Mobility Group, which serves as counsel to the Coalition. “The Lidar Coalition is pleased to host these important discussions and expand its educational and advocacy efforts.”
Last week the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released statistics projecting that 42,915 people died on U.S. roadways in 2021, the highest number of fatalities since 2005 and the highest annual percentage increase in the recorded history of data in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Pedestrian fatalities also increased by 13% over 2020, which outpaced the 10.5% increase in overall fatalities. Seventy-five percent of pedestrian deaths happen in low-light conditions, such as dusk and nightfall, that could be addressed by the use of lidar technology.
The Lidar Coalition is focused on promoting the deployment of lidar-based intelligent infrastructure and automotive safety technology. Light Detection and Ranging, or “lidar,” is a remote sensing method that uses pulsed light to create a 3D map of the surrounding environment. Lidar is an important component in emerging transportation technologies including smart infrastructure, traffic management, autonomous vehicles (“AV”), advanced driver assist systems (“ADAS”), and many other applications. The Lidar Coalition engages in public policy advocacy, educational efforts, and thought leadership to maximize the public benefit of lidar deployment.