Federal regulators have ordered manufacturers and operators of trucks equipped with Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) or Levels 3-5 automated driving systems (ADS) to report crashes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced on Tuesday that it was exercising its authority through a standing general order issued to 108 companies, which also includes passenger vehicle manufacturers, “to collect information necessary for the agency to play its role in keeping Americans safe on the roadways” as robotic vehicle technology evolves.
“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 Acting Administrator Steven Cliff. “In fact, gathering data will help instill public confidence that the federal government is closely overseeing the safety of automated vehicles.”
In addition to truck manufacturers Daimler Trucks North America (a unit of Daimler AG [OTC: DDAIF]), Volvo Trucks, Navistar [NYSE: NAV] and Paccar Inc. [NASDAQ: PCAR], autonomous truck technology companies Embark Trucks, Kodiak Robotics, Locomation, Plus, Pronto AI and TuSimple were also served with the order.
The order requires vehicle and equipment manufacturers of Level 2 ADAS or Levels 3-5 ADS operating systems to report crashes where those systems were engaged “during or immediately before the crash,” according to NHTSA.
“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,” the agency stated.
NHTSA’s order requires the companies included in the order to report crashes that occur on public roads based on the following situations:
Within one day of learning of a crash, companies must report crashes involving a Level 2 ADAS or Levels 3-5 ADS-equipped vehicle that also 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.
An updated report is due 10 days after learning of the crash. Every month, companies must report all other crashes involving an ADS-equipped vehicle that include an injury or property damage.
Reports must be updated monthly with new or additional information.
Reports must be submitted for any reportable crash, about which a company receives notice, beginning 10 days after the company is served with the order.
Reports must be submitted to NHTSA electronically using a form (sample here) that requires important information regarding the crash. NHTSA will use this information to identify crashes for follow-up.
NHTSA emphasized that its oversight is not limited to the specified crashes included in the order or information submitted under the order’s reporting obligations.
“NHTSA’s review and analysis will include all information and incidents relevant to any potential safety defects,” the agency stated. “Additionally, NHTSA may take further actions on any individual crash, including sending a special crash investigations team and requiring the company to provide additional information. NHTSA may also open defect investigations as warranted.”