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Why There Is More Work To Be Done To Make Autonomous Vehicles Safe

Autonomous vehicles, in particular self-driving cars, have been generating a great deal of buzz in the market over the past few years. The technology has many potential benefits for individuals, the environment and the economy. Recently however, as a consequence of tragic public-road accidents caused by cars in self-driving mode, an irrational discussion is surfacing.

Some are calling for driverless cars to require driver monitoring systems. These systems would ensure that drivers of driverless cars – a contradiction in terms – are alert and have their eyes on the road at all times, even when a vehicle is in self-driving mode.

The fatal accidents that have occurred in self-driving cars should instead serve as a wake-up call to the fact that, despite the hype and haste of the market to make autonomous vehicles available for sale, we have more work to do to make the technology safe.

Equally important, considerable effort must be put in by the private and public sectors in defining safety regulations and policies. If self-driving vehicles continue to be developed and allowed on the road without safety standards being put in place by the federal government there are real risks. Safety must be the number one priority for autonomous vehicles.

At BlackBerry we think about issues like this day in and day out. We are working on expanding the application of BlackBerry software and security to all Enterprise of Things (EoT) endpoints, to deliver privacy and productivity to you in the connected world, and we are engaging policy makers to promote regulations that put your security and safety first. We see the future as an exciting one because of the communications and connections possibilities it offers. We intend to make this future a reality and we will make sure it is done right.

This is an excerpt of a post originally published on

John Chen

About John Chen

John Chen is Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of BlackBerry. Appointed in November 2013, John led BlackBerry’s turnaround stabilizing the company’s financial position, ensuring its viability, and pivoting its operations from consumer hardware to enterprise software. Today the company takes advantage of the current growth opportunities in IoT and Cybersecurity and is pioneering the convergence of these two markets.

John is a distinguished business leader and proven turnaround executive with over 40 years of engineering and management experience. Prior to joining BlackBerry, John served as Chairman and CEO of Sybase Inc. where he re-invented the company and achieved 55 consecutive quarters of profitability during his 15-year tenure.

Recognized as a thought leader and as a respected voice in foreign policy, John has testified before Congress on U.S.–China trade relations and was appointed by U.S. President George W. Bush to serve on the President's Export Council. In 2006, he was appointed co-chair of the Secure Borders and Open Doors Advisory Committee. Additionally, John chaired the U.S.-China Policy Advisory Roundtable for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), served on the Board of the National Committee on U.S. China Relations since 2012, and has been a member of the Committee of 100 since 1997 and its Chairman from 2009-2011.

John graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). John has an honorary professorship from Shanghai University, and honorary doctorates from San Jose State University, City University of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. John has received awards from the U.S.-Asia Institute, the U.S.-China Policy Foundation, the California-Asia Business Council, and the U.S.-Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation.

John served on the Board of Directors for The Walt Disney Company (2004-2019) and Wells Fargo & Co. (2006-2018) and as a trustee of Caltech (2008-2022). John is an Advisory Board member of the US Chamber China Center. He is also active in the not-for-profit community, and is a board member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, member of CFR, national trustee of The First Tee and Governor of the San Francisco Symphony.