“Slam shut the revolving door that has become the reward for taking a top job at NHTSA. Failure to do so will leave the public with the troubling perception that the revised autonomous vehicle policies expected to be released in July have been crafted with an eye focused on your future employment prospects rather than on the public interest,” wrote John M. Simpson Consumer Watchdog Privacy Project Director in a letter to the two officials.
At least four former high-ranking NHTSA officials are now working on behalf of Google’s self-driving car project.
Foxx and Rosekind have been pressing to deploy autonomous vehicle technology rapidly. Last December the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that the autonomous technology controlling a self-driving robot car could be considered to be the driver. In January Foxx said NHTSA would update its autonomous vehicle policy in six months. Foxx encouraged manufacturers to submit requests for use of NHTSA’s exemption authority to allow the deployment of fully autonomous vehicles.
Consumer Watchdog’s letter said the importance of this commitment not to work for industry was driven home on the eve of NHTSA’s second public meeting on autonomous vehicle technology. That’s when it was revealed that former NHTSA Administrator David L. Strickland would serve as counsel and spokesman for the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, comprised of Google, Lyft, Uber, Ford and Volvo.
Ron Medford, former Deputy Director of NHTSA, is Director of Safety for Google’s self-driving car program. Chan Lieu, who served as Director of Government Affairs, Policy and Strategic Planning at NHTSA, is at Venable, LLP, like Strickland and lobbies for Google. Daniel Smith, who ran NHTSA’s Office of Vehicle Safety, is now a Google consultant.
Read Consumer Watchdog’s letter here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/ltrfoxxrosekind051816.pdf
Keep watching the Revolving Door. Search “Revolving Door” at www.CareForCrashVictims.comLou Lombardo