The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Tuesday exercised its authority by issuing a standing general order requiring manufacturers and operators of vehicles equipped with SAE Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) or SAE Levels 3-5 automated driving systems (ADS) to report crashes.
This action will enable NHTSA to collect information necessary for the agency to play its role in keeping Americans safe on the roadways, even as the technology deployed on the nation’s roads continues to evolve.
“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,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s acting administrator.
“In fact, gathering data will help instill public confidence that the federal government is closely overseeing the safety of automated vehicles.”
The order requires vehicle and equipment (including software) manufacturers of Level 2 ADAS or Levels 3-5 ADS systems and vehicles and operators of ADS-equipped vehicles to report crashes where the Level 2 ADAS or Level 3-5 ADS system was engaged during or immediately before the crash.
These data will help the agency identify potential safety issues and impacts resulting from the operation of advanced technologies on public roads and increase transparency. Access to ADS data may show whether there are common patterns in driverless vehicle crashes or systematic problems in operation.
Level 2 ADAS is an increasingly common feature on many new vehicles and provides driver assist functions that combine technologies, like lane centering assistance and adaptive cruise control, where the vehicle is able to control certain aspects of steering and speed.