June 07, 2022 Communications

Dig Deeper: NHTSA’s Standing General Order on Crash Data

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) is expected to release data it began collecting under a June 2021 Standing General Order (and under the August 2021 modified Standing General Order) that requires manufacturers and vehicle operators of SAE Level 2 Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (L2 ADAS) and Automated Driving Systems (ADS) to report crashes, fatalities and property damage involving those vehicles.

L2 ADAS is a combination of adaptive cruise control and lane centering systems that assists a human driver in the driving task, while ADS takes over the driving task from the human driver when being operated in an automated mode.

  • We strongly support the goal of increased transparency and awareness of the safety performance of these systems based on real-world data. That said, it is also critically important the data is released in a way that allows NHTSA and the public to accurately assess the safety performance of these systems.
  • Unfortunately, the incident data NHTSA is currently collecting under the general order is not sufficient on its own to fully evaluate the relative safety of L2 ADAS or ADS.
  • Appropriate context is needed about these crashes being reported in order to fully quantify the benefits or risks of Level 2 ADAS or ADS technology, particularly when comparing these crashes to those involving conventionally driven vehicles.
  • Whatever number of incidents NHTSA may eventually report, it would be a mistake to extrapolate or make broad generalizations about L2 ADAS or ADS technology without more context. For example, although crashes of ADS have been reported, it is important to note that there are very few commercially available ADS on the road today in the U.S. (and none are available for individual purchase).

Read the FULL Alliance for Automotive Innovation memo on NHTSA’s Standing General Order HERE.