Volkswagen of America announced that the ID.4 RWD electric SUV has earned a 5-Star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which runs the government’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). NHTSA has provided consumers with vehicle safety information since 1978. The ID.4 RWD joins the 2021... Read more →


AAA study finds automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assistance performance can be impeded by rain

A new study from AAA finds that moderate to heavy rain affects a vehicle safety system’s ability to “see”, which may result in performance issues. During closed course testing, AAA simulated rainfall and found that test vehicles equipped with automatic emergency braking (AEB) traveling at 35 mph collided with a... Read more →


Nissan has expanded its Michigan-based engineering center, Nissan Technical Center North America (NTCNA), with a more than $40-million Safety Advancement Lab for vehicle safety testing. The new lab brings more efficiency to the vehicle development process and furthers Nissan’s goal of reaching a future with virtually zero fatalities. The Safety... Read more →


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has named the Volkswagen 2021 ID.4 a a 2021 TOP SAFETY PICK+. To qualify for a 2021 TOP SAFETY PICK+ award, vehicles must have good ratings in each of the Institute’s six crashworthiness evaluations. They must also have good or acceptable headlights and... Read more →


GM outlines plan for addressing Bolt battery combustion; production of battery modules resumes

General Motors outlined an action plan to address the battery combustion issue afflicting the Bolt EV lineup. (Earlier post.) The action plan includes both hardware and software remedies, some of which are in place with immediate effect. LG battery plants in Holland and Hazel Park, Michigan, have resumed production. In... Read more →


Stellantis tests two new connected safety notification technologies in North America

Stellantis is exploring two new connected safety notification technologies—Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) and Safety Cloud—in North America, giving drivers advanced notification warnings of potential hazards in their path. Greater connectivity speeds, improved hardware and expanded software expertise have opened new opportunities for Stellantis with safety systems being one of the... Read more →


Safety of flying and driving after the attacks of 9/11 revisited

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. In 2003, Michael Flannagan and I published a detailed analysis of the relative safety of flying and driving in the United States. The flying data were for 1992 through 2001, and thus they included the year of the 9/11 attacks. The analysis showed that,... Read more →


IIHS: driving technology could prevent or mitigate up to 3/4 of fatal crashes involving teens

Crash avoidance features and teen-specific vehicle technologies have the potential to prevent or mitigate up to three-quarters of fatal crashes involving teen drivers, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). We know these technologies don’t stop 100 percent of the crashes they’re designed to... Read more →


NHTSA estimates traffic fatalities up 10.5% in 1Q 2021 year-on-year, while driving declined

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Quarter of 2021. NHTSA estimates that 8,730 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the first three months of 2021, a 10.5% increase from the 7,900... Read more →


SAE International revises recommended practice for electric and hybrid electric vehicle safe battery testing

SAE International has released J2464: Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicle Rechargeable Energy Storage System (RESS) Safety and Abuse Testing, a revised recommended practice for establishing safe battery systems. Originating in 1999 when the industry recognized the need for safety and abuse testing of battery systems in the mobility sector, the... Read more →


ArcelorMittal wins Altair Enlighten Award in the Lightweighting Enabling Technology category for Fortiform 980 advanced high-strength steel

ArcelorMittal has been selected as the winner of the Altair Enlighten Award in the Lightweighting Enabling Technology category for its GI Fortiform 980, a third-generation advanced high strength steel (AHSS) that provides carmakers up to 20% weight savings in key energy absorption parts in a vehicle such as front and... Read more →


NHTSA ODI opens preliminary evaluation of Tesla Autopilot following 11 crashes at first responder scenes

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has opened a Preliminary Evaluation of the SAE Level 2 ADAS system (Autopilot) in the Tesla Model Year 2014-2021 Models Y, X, S, and 3. The investigation will assess the technologies and methods used to monitor, assist,... Read more →


GM and LG identify cause of battery fires in Bolts; new recall for MY2017-2019 vehicles

Experts from GM and LG have identified the simultaneous presence of two manufacturing defects in the same battery cell as the root cause of battery fires in certain Chevrolet Bolt EVs. (Earlier post.) As a result, GM will be conducting a new recall for the previous population of Bolt EVs... Read more →


NHTSA urges owners of select MY 2017-2019 Bolt EVs to park outside due to fire risk; originally recalled in 2020

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urged owners of select Model Year 2017-2019 Chevrolet Bolt vehicles to park their cars outside and away from homes due to the risk of fire. Owners of these vehicles should park their vehicles outside away from homes and other structures immediately after charging and... Read more →


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) statistical projection of traffic fatalities for 2020 shows that an estimated 38,680 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This represents an estimated increase of about 7.2% as compared to the 36,096 fatalities reported in 2019. Preliminary data from the Federal Highway Administration... Read more →


Jacobs, Peachtree Corners, and Qualcomm collaborate to deploy C-V2X technology in Georgia Smart City

Jacobs, Peachtree Corners and Qualcomm Technologies announced joint efforts to deploy end-to-end smart solutions in one of the US’ first smart city environments powered by real-world connected vehicle technology and infrastructure. As a part of the working relationship, Qualcomm Technologies serves as ecosystem enabler by providing technology solutions, while Jacobs... Read more →


Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a sensor system called IntelliVent that can prevent dangerous conditions from developing in outdoor battery cabinets. Although energy storage systems with cabinet-type enclosures can be advantageous due to capacity, footprint and access, the cabinets leave little... Read more →


Audi of America and partners Applied Information, Blue Bird, Fulton Co. School System, City of Alpharetta, and Temple, Inc., have completed a cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) connected school zone and buses technology initial deployment (earlier post). With the collaboration beginning in 2020, the deployment leveraged C-V2X solutions provided by Qualcomm Technologies... Read more →


SVOLT Energy Technology, a global advanced technology company and spin-off of Chinese automobile manufacturer Great Wall Motors, is the first to begin commercialization of lithium-ion batteries (LIB) utilizing metallic thin-film separator technology from Soteria Battery Innovation Group (BIG). SVOLT cells made with Soteria aluminum metallized film demonstrate life after nail... Read more →


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... Read more →


Blue Bird Corp., one of the largest school bus makers in the US, has joined a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Audi of America, Applied Information, and Temple, Inc., to deploy cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology aimed at helping reduce vehicle hazards that school children face every year. The Fulton County School System,... Read more →


Drivers are using adaptive cruise control (ACC) as a tool for speeding, possibly undermining the feature’s potential safety benefits, according to a new study by researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) with colleagues from MIT. Drivers are substantially more likely to speed when using ACC or partial... Read more →


Audi is using high-precision swarm data for the first time to improve its car-to-X service “local hazard alerts”. The new version uses a car-to-cloud application that is based on a novel procedure for estimating the coefficient of friction on the basis of the wheel slip. The technology can detect minute... Read more →


Micron launches low-power memory qualified for automotive safety applications

Micron Technology has begun sampling the industry’s first automotive low-power DDR5 DRAM (LPDDR5) memory that is hardware-evaluated to meet the most stringent Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL), ASIL D. The solution is part of Micron’s new portfolio of memory and storage products targeted for automotive functional safety based on the... Read more →


Ridar Systems and HERE Technologies signed a partnership agreement to begin integrating HERE location technology into Ridar’s cloud-based mobile solution. This collaboration will allow Ridar Systems to identify better the location of two-wheelers in order to provide a more accurate position to drivers. Motorcycles, bicycles, scooters and other forms of... Read more →


Researchers at Toyota Research Institute (TRI) are conducting research with Stanford’s Dynamic Design Lab into how to bring together the instincts of professional drift drivers and automated driving technology. Thee goal is to design a new level of active safety technology and share it broadly so that Toyota and other... Read more →


NHTSA issues final rule to modernize autonomous vehicle safety standards

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a final rule to modernize numerous Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and to clarify ambiguities in current occupant protection standards for vehicles equipped with automated driving systems that are designed without traditional manual driver controls. The rule amends... Read more →


Daimler Trucks NA to pay $30M penalty for slow recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a consent order with Daimler Trucks North America following an investigation that found the company failed to recall vehicles in a timely fashion and to comply with other reporting requirements. The consent order includes a total civil penalty of $30 million. The consent... Read more →


NHTSA 2019 data shows significant improvements in traffic safety, including the lowest percentage of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities on record

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released its annual 2019 traffic fatality data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Traffic deaths decreased nationwide during 2019 as compared to 2018, and alcohol-impaired driving fatalities decreased to the lowest percentage since 1982, when NHTSA started... Read more →


The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the progress of 20 automakers toward manufacturing passenger vehicles with low-speed automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems. This is part of a voluntary effort by automakers in collaboration with NHTSA to equip almost all new passenger vehicles with low-speed... Read more →


Autonomous electric vehicles draw power from two sources: a high-voltage battery and, additionally, a conventional 12-volt battery that supplies the vehicle when idling or in high load situations while driving. Safety-critical systems such as brakes and steering can therefore be connected to two sources of power. But what happens when... Read more →


Volvo Cars brings Hazard Light Alert and Slippery Road Alert to the US

Volvo Cars is partnering with Waycare Technologies to enable data from Volvo’s Hazard Light Alert and Slippery Road Alert to be shared anonymously with transportation municipalities and the popular Waze navigation app. From model year 2021, Hazard Light Alert and Slippery Road Alert will allow certain Volvo cars to communicate... Read more →


Ride Vision is launching globally the first collision-avoidance technology for motorcycles, an AI-based system for motorcycle safety. Ride Vision is buttressed by $7 million in Series A funding, totalling $10 million to-date, as well as a partnership with Continental AG. There are more than 700 million motorcycles on the road... Read more →


Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) announced four new research projects focused on enhancing advanced technology system designs to be intuitive, easy to understand and to safely engage with drivers. The new projects will be undertaken in partnership with University of Michigan, Miami University, University of Nebraska, Texas Transportation Institute... Read more →


Chevrolet is voluntarily recalling 68,667 MY 2017-2019 Bolt EVs worldwide over the risk of battery fires; the majority of the cars affected—50,925—are in the US. The action is in response to five confirmed instances of vehicle fires that could relate to the high voltage battery in the Bolt. In October,... Read more →


Audi, Applied Information & Temple launch C-V2X school safety development program; Audi e-tron equipped with prototype tech

Audi of America, Applied Information, and Temple, Inc., are collaborating to develop two future connected vehicle applications that can help improve safety in school zones and around school buses when children are present. The first application, using cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology, is designed to warn drivers when they are approaching... Read more →


IIHS studies find most e-scooter rider injuries happen on sidewalk

City planners and many pedestrians have wondered how to get electric scooters off the sidewalk, but two new studies from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety raise a different question: Just where should e-scooters be ridden? We didn’t see many e-scooter crashes with motor vehicles, and that may be a... Read more →


Black & Veatch joins Center for Hydrogen Safety to help accelerate adoption of low-carbon energy source

Black & Veatch has joined the Center for Hydrogen Safety (CHS), a global nonprofit that supports and promotes the safe handling and use of hydrogen across industrial and consumer applications. Black & Veatch is an employee-owned engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of... Read more →


Soteria Battery Innovation Group (BIG) has exclusively licensed and optioned a technology developed by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory designed to eliminate thermal runaway in lithium ion batteries due to mechanical damage. The technology complements Soteria’s existing battery safety technology. Soteria Battery Innovation Group Inc is an... Read more →


Audi of America, American Tower Corporation, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) are collaborating in an initial deployment of cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) communication technology in Virginia. The Virginia C-V2X deployment is a result of the combined efforts of Audi of America, VDOT and Qualcomm Technologies, which... Read more →


Nearly half—48%—of rail tank cars carrying Class 3 flammable liquids in 2019 in the US met the new safety requirements, up from 33% in 2018, according to Fleet Composition of Rail Tank Cars Carrying Flammable Liquids: 2020 Report released today by the US Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.... Read more →


Using radar commonly deployed to track speeders and fastballs, researchers have developed an automated system that will allow cars to peer around corners and spot oncoming traffic and pedestrians. Researchers combined artificial intelligence and radar used to track speeders to develop a system that will allow vehicles to spot hazards... Read more →


Fewer wild animals, including threatened mountain lions, are becoming roadkill during shelter-in-place orders, according to a study on three states from the University of California, Davis. Using traffic and collision data collected from California, Idaho and Maine, the researchers found that wildlife-vehicle conflict has declined by 21-56 percent from early... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation will make its Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) software freely available from January 2021 as part of its efforts toward a safe mobility society. THUMS is a virtual human body model software program for computer analysis of human body injuries caused in vehicle collisions. Free access... Read more →


U of Illinois study shows reduced speed limits save lives in busy cities with minimal impact on travel time

Traffic accidents are the leading cause of non-natural deaths worldwide. Lower speed limits may help prevent accidents. But speed-reduction policies can be controversial and effects are not well documented. A new study from University of Illinois shows that speed reductions in São Paulo, Brazil, significantly reduced fatal accidents and increased... Read more →


IIHS study finds autonomous vehicles may prevent only about 1/3 of all crashes if AVs drive like people

Autonomous vehicles might prevent only around a third of all crashes if automated systems drive too much like people, according to a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It’s likely that fully self-driving cars will eventually identify hazards better than people, but we found that this... Read more →


IIHS: small car driver death rates remain high

Despite manufacturers’ efforts to make them safer, the smallest late-model cars remain the most dangerous, according to the most recent driver death rates calculated by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. Small cars and minicars accounted for 15 of the 20 models with the highest death rates for model year... Read more →


Every new Volvo car now comes with a limited top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph), as Volvo Cars delivers on its promise made last year to introduce such a limitation and goes beyond regulation and legislation to help close the remaining gap to zero serious injuries and fatalities in... Read more →


ACEA asks Euro NCAP for two-year delay for introduction of 2022 protocols

In a letter to the Secretary General of the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP), the European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA), requested a 2‐year delay for the introduction of the 2022 protocols due to the projected lengthy time that will be needed to recover from the effects of... Read more →


GHSA: absent traffic jams, many drivers getting more reckless

Emptier streets may be encouraging some drivers to flaunt traffic safety laws, including speed limits, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Despite there being far fewer vehicles on the road due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, state highway safety officials across the country are seeing a severe spike in... Read more →