Self-driving and driving-assisted technology involved in hundreds of car accidents

In 10 months, nearly 400 car accidents in the United States involve advanced driver-assist technologies, the federal government’s top auto-safety regulatory agency said Wednesday in the first release of large-scale data on these emerging systems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said 6 people were killed and five were seriously injured in 392 incidents between July 1 and May 15 last year. Teslas, which operates with an automated pilot, had 273 crashes with the highly ambitious full self-driving system or any component component associated with it.

These revelations are part of a larger effort by the federal agency to determine the safety of advanced driving systems. Beyond the future appeal of self-driving cars, numerous car manufacturers in recent years have developed automated components, including features that allow you to lift your hands off the steering wheel under certain conditions and allow parallel parking.

In a Wednesday release, the NHTSA revealed that Honda vehicles were involved in 90 incidents and the Supras in 10 incidents. Ford Motor, General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai and Porsche each reported five or fewer.

“These technologies have great promise to improve safety, but we need to understand how these vehicles operate in real-world situations,” said Steven Cliff, the agency’s executive. “This will enable our investigators to quickly identify potential flaw trends that are emerging.”

Speaking to reporters ahead of Wednesday’s release, Dr. Cliff also warned against making decisions based on data collected so far, noting that factors such as the number of cars on the road from each manufacturer were not taken into account. Technologies.

“Data can raise more questions than they can answer,” he said.

About 830,000 Tesla cars in the United States are equipped with auto pilot or other driver-assist technologies of the company – an explanation for why Tesla vehicles cause nearly 70 percent of all accidents.

Ford, GM, BMW and other vehicles have similar advanced systems that allow hands-free driving on highways under certain conditions, but very few of those models are sold. However, these companies have sold millions of cars over the past two decades that are fitted with unique components of driver-assist systems. Parts include so-called lane keeping, which allows drivers to stay in their lanes and has adaptive cruise control, which maintains the car’s speed and brakes automatically when front traffic slows down.

Dr. NHTSA will continue to collect data on malfunctions that include these types of features and technologies. Cliff said the agency will use it as a guide to create rules or requirements for how to design and use them.

The data was collected under an order issued by the NHTSA a year ago requiring vehicle manufacturers to report accidents involving cars with advanced driver-assist systems known as ADAS or Level-2 automatic driving systems.

The order was partly triggered by accidents and deaths operating on a Teslas auto pilot over the past six years. Last week The NHTSA expanded the investigation Regarding whether the automation pilot has technical and design defects that could cause safety risks. The company is investigating 35 crashes that occurred while operating the autopilot, nine of which have claimed 14 lives since 2014. It has also begun an initial investigation into 16 incidents of collisions with Teslas emergency vehicles under autopilot control. Stopped and their lights were flashing.

Under an order issued last year, the NHTSA also collected data on accidents or incidents involving fully automated vehicles, including manufacturers of these vehicles, including GM, Ford and other traditional automakers, and technology companies such as Waymo, which is owned by Google’s parent company.

The NHTSA found that this type of vehicle was involved in 130 incidents. One person was seriously injured, 15 had minor or moderate injuries, and 108 had no injuries. Many accidents involving automatic vehicles lead to fender curves or bumper pipes because they are mainly driven at low speeds and city driving.

Wemo, who runs driverless taxis in Arizona, was part of 62 incidents. GM’s cruise division, which began offering driverless taxi rides in San Francisco, has been involved in 23 incidents. A minor accident involving an automated test vehicle manufactured by a start-up company,, led to the company withdrawing all three tests. Software repair vehicles.

This is an unusually bold step for NHTSA’s order regulator, which has come under fire in recent years for not having much commitment with automakers.

“In this field, the agency is gathering information to determine if these systems pose an unreasonable risk to safety,” said J. A. Snyder, professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford University. Christian Gertes said.

An advanced driver-assist system can automatically operate, brake, and accelerate vehicles, however drivers must be alert and ready to control the vehicle at any time.

Safety experts are concerned because these systems allow drivers to drop active control of the car and seduce them into thinking their cars are driving by themselves. If the technology malfunctions or is unable to handle a particular situation, drivers may not be ready to take control quickly.

According to the NHTSA mandate, companies must provide data on accidents when sophisticated driver-assist systems and automation technologies are in use within 30 seconds of impact. Although these data provide a broader picture of the behavior of these systems than ever before, it is still difficult to determine whether they reduce malfunctions or improve security.

The company does not collect data that allows researchers to easily determine whether it is safer to use these systems than to turn them off in the same situations.

“Question: What is the basis for our comparison of this data?” Dr. Gerdes, a Stanford professor, was the first Chief Innovation Officer of the Department of Transportation to be a part of the NHTSA from 2016 to 2017.

But some experts say comparing these systems to human driving should not be the goal.

“When a Boeing 737 falls from the sky, ‘Does it fall more or less from other planes?’ We do not consider it necessary to comment on such fabrications. ” Engineering schools specializing in emerging transportation technologies.

“Accidents on our roads are the equivalent of several plane crashes every week,” he added. “Comparison is not what we want it to be. If these driving systems fail – it contributes to crashes that do not happen – this is a potential fix problem that we need to be aware of.

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