A new standing general order published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a division of the Department of Transportation, released data on hundreds of car crashes involving automated driving technology. As Fox News reported, the report assembled ten months of car crash data gathered in conjunction with the agency’s investigation into the safety of automated vehicles.
The NHTSA identified 392 “incidents” between July 1, 2021 and May 15, 2022. As the New York Times notes, these crashes resulted in six fatalities and five severe injuries. The manufacturer associated with the most crashes was Tesla, whose Autopilot function, self-driving function, and related features were involved in 273 collisions, five of which resulted in fatalities.
As for other manufacturers, the Times reported, Honda was associated with 90 crashes; Subaru was associated with 10 crashes; while BMW, GM, Ford, Volkswagen, Porsche, Hyundai, and Toyota “each reported five or fewer.”Cars with automated driving systems—that is, those “designed to operate with little or no intervention from the driver,” per the Times—accounted for 130 crashes, one of which caused a severe injury. A high proportion of these incidents “were fender benders or bumper taps” that occurred in urban areas, where the vehicles were traveling at relatively low speeds.
In a statement about the report, NHTSA Deputy Administrator Steven Cliff said, “The data released today are part of our commitment to transparency, accountability and public safety. 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.”