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NHTSA Requires Automated Car Makers to Disclose Crashes

The federal administration is signifying its intention to monitor even more closely the evolution of the car automation sector.  One sign is that it will require companies manufacturing so-called “driverless cars” to submit information about crashes involving these vehicles in the future.  Although driverless cars have not become a regular site on Georgia roads or in the metro Atlanta area, it is only a matter of time before they become more common.

There have been recent reports of car accidents involving such driverless vehicles.  Some of these accidents have even resulted in injuries. There are at least 100 companies currently involved in designing and manufacturing technology to assist drivers or take over for them. Some of the more popular of these companies include Tesla and General Motors’ Cruise. Tesla, for instance, has been involved in more than one accident involving its driverless cars. The federal administration now wants to get more involved in monitoring accidents involving these cars, just like it does with accidents involving other automobile models.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently issued an order to this effect to 108 technology companies that are currently involved in manufacturing autonomous cars. The order requires these companies to submit detailed information about vehicles that have been involved in an accident. The federal administration wants information about any accident in which the vehicle’s automated driving system or level two Driver Advanced Driver Assistance System were in effect at the time of the crash. A level two Driver Advanced Driver Assistance System includes adaptive cruise control, lane centering systems and many of the other technologies that are currently available on many vehicles today. Vehicles like Tesla’s models include multiple such safety features.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that it requires this information to ensure that the highways and roads are safe for all users. Driverless car companies are now required to submit information about any accidents in which airbags were deployed or which resulted in injuries or hospitalization. Accidents in which the car ended up being towed, or any accidents involving the driverless car and pedestrians or bicyclists must also be reported to the federal agency.

These requirements to hold technology companies  accountable for their designs have been a long time coming, and the need for complete data about accidents involving these vehicles to be made available to the  public has become more pressing.   The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should be as involved in the monitoring of these vehicles as it is in the operations of motor vehicles manufactured by other automobile companies. As these technologies progress further, it can make the roads safer, but for that, it is important for us to have adequate information about these vehicles and the accidents involving these cars.

Most car accidents are the result of driver error. Whether these accidents decline in number as auto safety technology becomes more pervasive is something that needs to be seen.  If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, talk to an Atlanta car accident attorney at the Katz Personal Injury Lawyers and determine your legal options for a claim for damages. You might be eligible for damages that include medical costs, lost wages and other damages.

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