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US agency instructs manufacturers of automated vehicles to report accidents

DETROIT: The US government’s highway safety agency directed automakers to report all accidents with fully autonomous vehicles or partially automated driver assistance systems.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s measure on Tuesday shows the agency is taking a tougher stance on automated vehicle safety than in the past. Fearing that it would hinder the introduction of systems that could save lives, he was reluctant to regulate the new technology.
The order obliges vehicle and equipment manufacturers, as well as companies that operate vehicles, to report accidents on public roads in which fully autonomous vehicles are involved or in which driver assistance systems have been used immediately. before or during an accident.
“By requiring accident reporting, the agency has access to critical data that will help quickly identify any safety issues that may arise in these automated systems,” said Steven Cliff, NHTSA Acting Administrator.
The agency says it will look for possible security breaches and that the information could result in the dispatch of an accident investigation team or the initiation of a deficiency investigation.
The order comes after NHTSA has dispatched special investigation teams to 31 accidents with partially automated driver assistance systems since June 2016. Such systems can keep a vehicle in the middle of the lane and maintain a safe distance from vehicles. circulating ahead. Of these accidents, 25 were related to Tesla’s autopilot system, which the agency said had reported 10 deaths.
Tesla and other manufacturers caution that drivers using the systems must be ready to intervene at any time. Teslas using the system crashed into half the cars crossing in front of them, emergency vehicles and a road blocker stopped.
The agency is also investigating non-fatal accidents involving partially automated systems in a Lexus RX450H, a Volvo XC-90 and two Cadillac CT6s. The teams also investigated accidents involving a Navya Arma automated slow shuttle and another Uber-operated Volvo XC90 that killed a pedestrian in Arizona.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which has also investigated some of Tesla’s accidents, recommended that NHTSA and Tesla limit use of the autopilot to areas where it can operate safely. The NTSB also recommended that NHTSA require Tesla to have a better system to ensure drivers are careful. NHTSA did not implement any of the recommendations.
Jason Levine, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, a nonprofit advocacy group, said accident reporting was a welcome first step for NHTSA. The center has asked the agency to monitor automated vehicles for several years.
“The collection of accident data, and hopefully data from accidents that have been avoided, can serve a variety of purposes, from enforcing applicable laws to ensuring consumer safety and creating appropriate regulations to encourage the use of technology. safer advanced vehicle, “Levine said in an email.
Businesses must report accidents involving fully autonomous or partially automated vehicles within one day of learning of an injury treated in hospital, death, airbag deployment, pedestrian or bicyclist, or serious enough to tow a vehicle.
Additional accidents involving vehicles equipped with the systems and causing personal injury or property damage must be reported monthly. The requirement does not apply to consumer vehicle owners or car dealers.
NHTSA said in a statement that the data can show whether there are common patterns in accidents with the systems.

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