Open letter on Zoox safety philosophy by Mark R. Rosekind, Ph.D., Zoox Chief Safety Innovation Officer
Zoox intends to set the bar for safety in autonomous mobility
We know that autonomous vehicle technology presents an unprecedented opportunity to save lives, reduce injuries, and minimize crashes on our roadways. But fully realizing these potential benefits necessitates a paradigm shift from reactive to proactive safety. For over 100 years, automotive safety has been reactive: i.e., we wait until there is a crash, injury, or death before we look for a solution.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that 94% of crashes are caused by human choice or error. Most of these crashes are preventable or avoidable, yet in 2020 alone, 38,680 people lost their lives on U.S. roadways.¹Globally, car crashes take the lives of 1.35 million people each year—that is more than 3,000 deaths a day.² We should not accept these casualties as the cost of mobility. As a society, we can do better.
At Zoox, safety is foundational, and our safety philosophy is made up of two distinct pillars: “Prevent and Protect.” The ultimate proactive safety strategy is to prevent incidents from occurring in the first place, so we analyze potential safety risks and address them before they happen. Our vehicles also protect riders and other road users with an array of safety innovations—for example, we intend to provide the equivalent of a five-star safety rating for every occupant in a Zoox vehicle.
The safety innovations featured in this report reflect our commitment to setting the bar for safety in autonomous mobility.
We invite you to review our Safety Report Volume 2.0 to explore just some of the over 100 safety innovations in the Zoox vehicle.
Mark R. Rosekind, Ph.D.. • Chief Safety Innovation Officer
(1) “2020 Fatality Data Show Increased Traffic Fatalities During Pandemic” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/2020-fatality-data-show-increased-traffic-fatalities-during-pandemic
(2) “Road Traffic Injuries” World Health Organization https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/road-traffic-injuries