Tue, 25 Sep 2018

Alphabet adverts promote driverless car safety

By Sheetal Sukhija, South Carolina State News
10 Oct 2017, 11:44 GMT+10

WASHINGTON, U.S. - Alphabet is launching an advertisement campaign through its self-driving car unit Waymo, aimed at raising the value and safety of driverless cars and to convince skeptical Americans. 

With the Congress considering how it will regulate the technology and many top technology and bureaucratic officials wondering how to regulate the rapidly growing technology, now companies are looking at ways to deal with it. 

Alphabet said on Monday that it was teaming up with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the National Safety Council, and the Federation for Blind Children for the campaign called "Let's Talk Self-Driving."

According to the company, the campaign claims that self-driving cars could help eliminate most alcohol-related crash deaths and allow the blind broader access to personal transportation.

However, critics have argued that Congress is moving too fast and not ensuring enough safeguards.

On Monday, Waymo said the campaign will begin in Arizona, where the company is testing self-driving cars. 

The campaign will reportedly include digital ads, outdoor billboards, fuel pump advertising and radio spots.

However, it has refused to reveal how much the advertising campaign will cost.

According to recent surveys, a majority of Americans are unsure about self-driving cars. 

In March, the American Automobile Association (AAA) said it had found that three-quarters of U.S. drivers said they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving car.

Waymo chief executive John Krafcik said in a blog post, "There's great enthusiasm and curiosity about self-driving cars – and there's some confusion, too." 

He added that the "technology can help address some of the biggest safety challenges on our roads today."

Further, statistics reveal that in 2016, U.S. traffic deaths jumped 5.6 percent to a decade-high of 37,461.

Pedestrians killed meanwhile rose 9 percent to 5,987.

This is the highest number recorded since 1990.

Last week, a U.S. Senate panel unanimously gave the green light to a bill aimed at speeding the use of self-driving cars without human controls.

The measure also bars states from imposing regulatory road blocks.

Now, the bill still must clear a full Senate vote. 

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