NTSB picks mandatory collision avoidance and connected vehicle technologies as one of most wanted transportation safety improvements
The National Transportation Safety Board has released its 2021 – 2022 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements; one of the 10 items in the list was “Require Collision Avoidance and Connected Vehicle Technologies on All Vehicles”.
These technologies include forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking, which can warn the driver of an upcoming hazard and act if the driver doesn’t respond. Connected-vehicle technologies allow vehicles to relay important safety information to each other to avoid crashes.
Most passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles (such as heavy-duty trucks and school buses) on the road today are not equipped—nor required to be equipped—with such technologies. Consumers are often unaware of the availability and capabilities of these technologies.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not developed comprehensive performance standards for these technologies, nor does it effectively evaluate them and include this information in its vehicle safety ratings.
The NTSB also noted that it was “alarmed” by the recent regulatory decision by the Federal Communications Commission to substantially shrink the communication spectrum dedicated to connected-vehicle technology. If this decision is not reversed, safety progress could be hindered, the NTSB said.
The NTSB offered recommendations to regulators concerning this technology area:
Complete standards for collision-warning and automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems in commercial vehicles and require this technology in all highway vehicles and all new school buses.
Develop performance standards for connected-vehicle technology and restart the proposed rulemaking to require this technology be installed on all newly manufactured highway vehicles.
Improve consumer awareness about collision-avoidance systems available in passenger vehicles by improving how these technologies are tested, evaluated, and rated in the New Car Assessment Program’s 5-star rating system.
The NTSB said that vehicle manufacturers should install and make standard in all vehicles forward-collision avoidance systems that, at a minimum, include a collision-warning component. These should not just be options sold as part of expensive add-on packages.
The other 9 items making the list were:
Require and Verify the Effectiveness of Safety Management Systems in All Revenue Passenger Carrying Aviation Operations
Prevent Alcohol and other Drug Impaired Driving
Eliminate Distracted Driving
Implement a Comprehensive Strategy to Eliminate Speeding-Related Crashes
Install Crash Resistant Recorders and Establish Flight Data Monitoring Programs
Protect Vulnerable Road Users through a Safe System Approach
Improve Pipeline Leak Detection and Mitigation
Improve Rail Worker Safety
Improve Passenger and Fishing Vessel Safety
Since 1990 the NTSB has used its Most Wanted List as the principal advocacy tool to build support for the implementation of NTSB-issued safety recommendations associated with the list.
The 2021 – 2022 MWL draws attention to more than 100 safety recommendations associated with the 10 items on the list. These recommendations, if implemented, can save lives, reduce the number and severity of injuries and prevent transportation accidents and crashes. The 2021-2022 MWL features 10 mode-specific safety improvements, unlike previous lists that featured 10 broad, multi-modal safety issues tied to hundreds of recommendations.