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[Slashdot] - US Agency Orders Automated Vehicle Makers To Report Crashes

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The U.S. government's highway safety agency has ordered automakers to report any crashes involving fully autonomous vehicles or partially automated driver assist systems. The Associated Press reports: The move Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates the agency is taking a tougher stance on automated vehicle safety than in the past. It has been reluctant to issue any regulations of the new technology for fear of hampering adoption of the potentially life-saving systems. The order requires vehicle and equipment manufacturers and companies that operate the vehicles to report crashes on public roads involving fully autonomous vehicles, or those in which driver assist systems were operating immediately before or during a crash. "By mandating crash reporting, the agency will have access to critical data that will help quickly identify safety issues that could emerge in these automated systems," NHTSA Acting Administrator Steven Cliff said in a statement. The agency says it will look for potential safety defects, and the information could cause it to send out a crash investigation team or open a defect investigation. Companies have to report crashes involving fully autonomous or partially automated vehicles within one day of learning about them, if they involve a hospital-treated injury, a death, air bag deployment, pedestrians or bicyclists, or were serious enough for a vehicle to be towed away. Other crashes involving vehicles equipped with the systems involving injury or property damage have to be reported every month. The requirement does not apply to consumers who own vehicles or auto dealers. NHTSA says in a statement that the data can show if there are common patterns in crashes involving the systems.

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