Center for Auto Safety Statement on NHTSA’s Order for All Vehicles Equipped With Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and Automated Driving Systems to Submit Crash Data

June 29, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Jason Levine, Executive Director at: [email protected] for follow-up

Center for Auto Safety Statement on NHTSA’s Order for All Vehicles Equipped
With Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and Automated Driving Systems
to Submit Crash Data

With more than 40,000 crash deaths involving motor vehicles, over 2.5 million serious injuries, and over 6 million crashes on our roads, all at a cost of almost $1 trillion annually, there is no time to waste in moving towards deploying safe vehicle technology, be it autonomous or otherwise.  The Center firmly believes advanced vehicle technology can play a significant role in a safer transportation future and is committed to seeing its successful and safe integration into our transit ecosystem.

Today’s announcement by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is an overdue, but welcome first step, as the agency has apparently finally heard the Center for Auto Safety’s long-standing call for the federal government to engage in oversight of the unregulated technology currently being tested and used on America’s roads with scant oversight due to minimal data collection.

In October 2018, the Center petitioned NHTSA  to require all companies testing automated vehicle systems on public roads to provide information to NHTSA and the public regarding the safety of their systems. In March 2019, the Center successfully petitioned NHTSA  to open a defect investigation into Nissan Rogue vehicles for faulty automatic emergency braking, one of the most promising of all new Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). The investigation remains pending. In September 2019, the Center called on NHTSA to recall Tesla vehicles for a lack of safeguards relating to their ADAS features, which the company deceptively refers to as “AutoPilot.”

Given the current lack of ADAS recalls – or regulations or laws governing either ADAS or Automated Driving Systems (ADS) – collecting crash data and sharing it is the very least the government can do in order to provide the public with access to uniform data by which to compare one manufacturer’s safety record to another.

NHTSA should move quickly to require a wide spectrum of data recording from all entities using this technology to include a comprehensive suite of data sufficient to inform forensic investigation of incidents including crashes and avoided crashes involving the vehicle itself, external property including other vehicles, and vulnerable road users.  Collecting crash data, and hopefully data from crashes which were avoided, can help serve a variety of purposes from enforcing current laws, to ensuring the safety of consumers, to paving the way for reasonable regulations to encourage the deployment of safe advanced vehicle technology.

##

The Center for Auto Safety was founded in 1970 in Washington, DC as a member supported, national, independent, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy for all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Over the last 51 years, the Center has successfully led the fight for lemon laws in every state, airbags in every vehicle, and recall repairs being made at no cost to the consumer. For 40 years the Center published The Car Book, America’s most comprehensive car buying guide focused on safety, and in that spirit now offers the custom Vehicle Safety Check providing regular safety updates and hard-to-find service alerts on vehicle safety issues. To learn more about the Center, please visit www.AutoSafety.org.