The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a Standing General Order that requires manufacturers and those operating vehicles with SAE Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to report crashes. The order also applies to vehicles equipped with SAE Levels 3 through 5 automated driving systems (ADS).
The new NHTSA order stipulates a number of requirements for crashes involving an ADS-equipped vehicle. For example, companies must report a crash within one day of learning of the incident when it involves a hospital-treated injury, fatality, vehicle tow-away, air bag deployment, or a “vulnerable road user,” such as a bicyclist or pedestrian. An updated report is required 10 days after learning about the crash. Companies are also required to issue a monthly report regarding all other crashes involving ADS-equipped vehicles which resulted in injury or property damage. Furthermore, report updates are required monthly when new or additional information becomes available.
“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 NHTSA’s Acting Administrator, Dr. Steven Cliff. “In fact, gathering data will help instill public confidence that the federal government is closely overseeing the safety of automated vehicles.”
As ADAS systems gather traction and become more commonplace, the NHTSA’s new order is expected to help identify potential safety issues and the impact of the systems’ proliferation on public roads.
To note, Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) includes things like adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist. Meanwhile, automated driving systems (ADS), such as those equipped by Cruise Origin, are not currently sold in mainstream vehicles, but are currently in use for things like system testing, ride sharing, and deliveries.
General Motors’ Super Cruise system is considered an SAE Level 2 advanced driver assistance system, and can take control of the steering and throttle during extended highway driving. The driver may remove their hands from the steering wheel while the system is engaged, but must remain attentive and ready to resume control if needed. The GM Super Cruise system is expected to be offered on 22 GM vehicles by 2023.