PITTSBURGH — Companies testing autonomous vehicles in Pittsburgh will have to immediately report crashes resulting in any injuries as part of new guidelines announced Monday intended to boost public confidence in the testing after a deadly accident in Arizona last year.
Karina Ricks, director of the city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, said the city was working on guidelines before the March 18 accident in Tempe when one of Uber’s autonomous test vehicles hit and killed a pedestrian as she crossed a dark road outside the lines of a crosswalk.
“The Tempe incident raised the urgency for the guidelines,” Ricks said.
The Pittsburgh guidelines were included in an executive order signed by Mayor Bill Peduto on Monday.
Representatives of the five entities testing autonomous vehicles in Pittsburgh — Aptiv, Argo AI, Aurora Innovation, Carnegie Mellon University, and Uber — expressed their support for Peduto’s measure.
These five companies have 30 days to submit initial information, such as neighborhoods where they expect to conduct testing, hours, and safety and risk mitigation plans, Ricks said. Newcomers — the city expects more companies to consider Pittsburgh as a testing ground — must submit the information 10 days before the star of on-road testing.
Under the guidelines, companies have three days to report crashes resulting in any damage. Peduto’s order also calls for companies to provide more information to the city than the state currently requires, such as requiring each tester to report total miles, even when in manual mode.
The companies will have to submit reports twice a year to the city, which will then issue summary reports to the public, Ricks said.