WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed the results of the initial 10 months of data covering road incidents involving vehicles with SAE Level 2 Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).
The nine-page Summary Report: Standing General Order on Crash Reporting for Level 2 Advanced Driver Assistance Systems does not come to any conclusions or connections between the vehicles incorporating the Level 2 ADAS and crashes, but simply states the raw data.
The crash reporting began with implementation of the general order on June 29, 2021, and the report covers the period through May 15, 2022. During this period some 392 crashes involving such vehicles were reported. Six of the incidents resulted in fatalities; five in serious injuries.
Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s Administrator, when speaking to reporters, warned against coming to any conclusions based on the data revealed June 14th. But he did point out that ADAS technology has potential safety benefits.
“New vehicle technologies have the potential to help prevent crashes, reduce crash severity and save lives, and the Department is interested in fostering technologies that are proven to do so; collecting this data is an important step in that effort. As we gather more data, NHTSA will be able to better identify any emerging risks or trends and learn more about how these technologies are performing in the real world,” he said.
The ongoing study was partially the result of complaints and questions surrounding issues with potential malfunctions within self-driving and ADAS vehicles as well as to obtain data upon which NHTSA can formulate rules and guidelines for these systems in the future.
Tesla, for example, which represented 70 percent (273 of the 392 reported crashes) of the incidents, is under NHTSA investigation about phantom braking, an ADAS defect which causes a vehicle to unexpectantly brake for no apparent reason. This investigation was launched following the filing of more than 750 owner complaints.
The same issue has also plagued Nissan, which is involved in litigation by owners over similar occurrences and resulted in numerous complaints filed with NHTSA.