Companies will have to report serious crashes that happen after use of an active driver assistance or automated driving system; data likely to help NHTSA protect the public
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumer Reports today welcomed an announcement that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is ordering the auto industry and operators of driverless cars to report certain serious crashes to the agency in a timely manner.
Specifically, within one day, manufacturers and operators of vehicles equipped with driving automation systems must report crashes to the agency that happen during or after these systems are used and that involve a hospital-treated injury, a fatality, a vehicle tow-away, an airbag deployment, or a vulnerable road user such as a pedestrian or bicyclist.
William Wallace, manager of safety policy for Consumer Reports, said, “This action is helpful and constructive, and it’s overdue. For years, safety advocates have been saying that it’s crucial for NHTSA to have better crash data to protect people effectively. While these emerging systems have enormous potential to make our roads safer and improve mobility in the long term, there really wouldn’t be any way for NHTSA to make sure they are developed and rolled out safely without having robust data about crashes.
“With the new data on hand, NHTSA will be able to much more readily track safety trends, identify risks, and develop smart, strong performance standards – the sensible ‘rules of the road’ that will be critical for protecting the public. For transparency’s sake, we urge NHTSA to make the data it receives publicly available to the greatest extent possible. Also, while the order will probably help the agency enforce our safety laws, it should not delay NHTSA from taking quick action wherever it’s already clear that an unreasonable risk to safety exists.”
For more information about the specific requirements for reporting crashes under this new NHTSA order, see the agency’s statement here.
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