Improving Auto Industry Safety
Last week, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx released a blog about the DOT’s efforts to work with the auto industry on improving safety. Secretary Foxx was at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit to talk about the changes happening within the DOT and the auto industry. He spoke about the deployment of autonomous vehicles and President Obama’s proposal to invest $4 billion in pilot programs to improve safety. He also spoke about the record numbers of recalled vehicles and civil penalties facing industry leaders.
Prevention Versus Cure
Secretary Foxx was also quick to point out that even though Congress has passed legislation to increase and strengthen the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) enforcement tools, the real focus should be on prevention. It’s great that automakers can be held accountable for defective and dangerous parts that injure and kill people, but the top priority has to be prevention. It’s also essential that the NHTSA can punish those automakers that knowingly endanger people and fail to observe and abide by federal safety regulations. Ultimately though, automakers have to work with the U.S. DOT and the NHTSA to improve safety from the ground up.
Historic Agreement For Safety
Secretary Foxx and NHTSA Administrator Rosekind entered into a historic agreement with 18 different automakers to take a stand for a collaborative and proactive approach to safety. These companies are going to work with the safety agencies to improve not only driver and passenger safety, but also roadway safety for all users. The DOT has taken a similar industry-wide collaboration approach within the aviation industry and has been able to greatly reduce aviation accidents across the nation. Officials with the NHTSA and U.S. DOT are hoping that this collaborative approach to auto safety will mean issues involving defective parts will be found, investigated and remedied sooner.
Cybersecurity in New Cars
Secretary Foxx went on to talk about the additional efforts taken to strengthen vehicle cybersecurity. With more technological advances in automobiles comes a greater need for sophisticated cybersecurity measures. Industry leaders have pledged to work collaboratively to reduce and mitigate potential cyber threats in efforts to keep motorists and their information safety. Officials with the U.S. DOT and the NHTSA are looking forward to a safe New Year.