The United States’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has ordered manufacturers and operators of vehicles to report crashes involving any form of autonomous driving system in the country.
“NHTSA’s core mission is safety. By mandating crash reporting, the agency will have access to critical data that will help quickly identify safety issues that could emerge in these automated systems. In fact, gathering data will help instill public confidence that the federal government is closely overseeing the safety of automated vehicles,” said Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s acting administrator.
The new mandate affects all vehicles equipped with SAE Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) as well as Levels 3-5 automated driving systems (ADS). Companies must issue a report within 24 hours of learning of a crash where such systems were engaged during or immediately before the crash.
The NHTSA also requires an updated report to be submitted 10 days after learning of the crash, along with a monthly report documenting all other crashes involving such systems. The data gathered will allow the auto safety regulator to spot potential patterns in driverless vehicle crashes or systematic problems in operation.
The new order serves to promote more transparency when it comes to these systems, some of which have been involved in high-profile incidents. As reported by Autoblog, the NHTSA has dispatched crash investigation teams to 31 crashes involving partially automated driver assist systems since June 2015. Of that figure, 25 involved Tesla’s Autopilot system that saw 10 deaths being reported.
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