Feds Launch Investigation Into Autonomous Vehicle Safety

With self-driving vehicles allowed on public streets in 20 states, federal regulators are beginning to scrutinize the industry for safety concerns.

1 minute read

December 27, 2022, 9:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating self-driving taxis from General Motors subsidiary Cruise, which have been involved in multiple incidents that resulted in unsafe conditions. As Dan Zukowski explains in Smart Cities Dive, “These events, NHTSA said, could lead to dangerous situations for passengers such as their having to exit the vehicle in traffic or leave a vehicle stranded in an intersection.”

According to Zukowski, “NHTSA last year ordered manufacturers and operators to report crashes involving vehicles equipped with automated driving systems; it is also investigating 830,000 Tesla cars equipped with the Autopilot driver assistance system.” Between July 2021 and May 2022, AVs were involved in 130 crashes. Today, 20 states allow the testing or deployment of automated vehicles without a human driver present. “While federal regulations limit the number of fully automated vehicles an operator can deploy, there are no federal safety regulations specific to autonomous vehicle operational standards.” 

Volkswagen and Ford recently pulled support from their autonomous vehicle investments. As Ford CEO Jim Farley explained in October, “profitable, fully autonomous vehicles at scale are a long way off.”

Thursday, December 22, 2022 in Smart Cities Dive

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