The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States Department of Transportation today announced a first-of-its-kind final regulation to safeguard the safety of occupants in autonomous cars. This regulation changes the occupant protection Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to account for cars that are equipped with automated driving technologies and do not have the typical manual controls associated with a human driver.
Do these rules go far enough to protect people against car accidents? Can pedestrian accidents be reduced as well? Keep reading to learn about the new standards. If you have been injured in a vehicle accident, remember that you can contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.
A word from the US Transportation Secretary
“A key aspect of USDOT’s safety goal in the 2020s will be ensuring that safety regulations maintain pace with the development of automated driving and driver assistance devices,” stated US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This new regulation is a significant step forward in creating strong safety requirements for automobiles equipped with ADS.”
“As the driver in ADS-equipped cars transitions from a person to a machine, the requirement to keep humans safe remains the same and must be included from the start,” stated NHTSA Deputy Administrator Dr. Steven Cliff. “By enforcing this law, we guarantee that manufacturers prioritize safety.”
What happened before these standards were issued?
Previously, occupant protection rules were created for conventional, traditional car features like steering wheels and other manual controls, but not for the new regulation. The regulation clarifies what manufacturers must do when applying the criteria to ADS-equipped cars that do not have typical manual controls.
Despite their novel designs, cars incorporating ADS technology must continue to provide the same high levels of occupant safety as contemporary passenger vehicles, according to the final regulation.
This is just one part of significant changes
This rule is part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s continuous efforts to protect public safety as vehicle automation advances. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is actively involved in monitoring and regulating the safe testing and deployment of these vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stresses safety in a variety of areas, including data collecting and analysis, research, human factors, legislation, and enforcement.
Last summer, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a Standing General Order mandating collision and incident reporting for cars equipped with ADS or other advanced driver-assistance systems. This information will aid NHTSA investigators in swiftly identifying potential fault patterns in these automated systems.
In addition, this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began rulemaking to establish safety standards for automated emergency braking, a driver-assistance device that can help avoid collisions with other road users, including pedestrians.
If you have questions about a vehicle accident you or a loved one was involved in, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.