The NHTSA or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a report listing with hundreds of vehicle crashes. Through the past ten months, there had been data being collected and just now the agency finds it in their power to publish the results of that data collection, revealing hundreds upon hundreds of crashes. All of those in particular, actually, using SAE Level 2 driver-assistance technology. On a new requirement, known as a “Standing General Order on Crash Repoerting for Level 2 Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.”
The NHTSA had required automakers in order to report an accident if Level 2 ADAS “was in use at any time within 30 seconds of the crash and the crash involved a vulnerable road user or resulted in a fatality, a vehicle tow-away, an airbag deployment, or any individual being transported to a hospital for medical treatment.”
As expected, the reports are far from perfect due to issues to crash data or incomplete data from the incident report, with other issues as well. The crashes reported by manufacturers seemed to show Tesla as the number one culprit. With about 272 reports. Honda has only 90 of those incidents and Subaru? Barely 10. This is all what has been reported with Level 2 system. NHTSA showed how among the 98 crashes where the injury has been reported, five being serious and six working in fatalities.
The NHTSA isn’t without mercy, however.
Before the order had been issued in June 2021, there had been a reliance on vehicle owner questionnaires. Also media reports and direct outreach from automakers in order to attain the data and therefore calling the process “generally inconsistent.” Of course at this point, the agency has better standards in there to collect the data. It will respond and raise awareness regarding accidents and driver-assistance technology.
It’s like Steven Cliff, the NHTSA’s administrator said: it still is too early to draw conclusions from the original findings. Cliff made note that the NHTSA is still collecting data on driver-assistance related crashes for guidance of requirements around the technology is designed and functioned.
Car accidents happen all the time. That doesn’t mean that driver assistance technology will be totally able to avoid it. These incidents are just a fact of life. There’s no real way of avoiding them. All you can really do is be careful that this type of obsession doesn’t consume you. We have so much of a necessity to control robots that we might lose a sense of self. Car accidents are best protected against with more road-worthy awareness. That’s my opinion.