NHTSA: Tesla had the most crashes involving advanced driving systems

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WASHINGTON — Tesla has reported 273 vehicle accidents since July involving advanced driver assistance systems such as Autopilot, while Honda Motor identified 90, according to US auto safety data released Wednesday.

The companies made the disclosures to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after the regulator issued a June 2021 order requiring automakers and technology companies to immediately report all accidents involving Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), such as lane-keeping assist and adaptive systems. report. cruise control and vehicles equipped with automatic driving systems that are tested on public roads.

Of a total of 392 ADAS accidents reported by a dozen car manufacturers, six were killed and five seriously injured.

NHTSA said Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Alphabet Inc, reported 62 accidents involving vehicles with automated driving systems, while General Motors’ Cruise had 23.

NHTSA said the data has already been used to initiate investigations and recalls and helped inform existing defective probes. The agency did not immediately identify who was to blame in the crashes and will release more detailed information about individual incidents later on Wednesday.

The agency stressed that crashes are tracked differently by individual automakers and discouraged comparisons of performance between automakers, in part because there are no comprehensive statistics on how widely each system is used.

Tesla, Cruise and Waymo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Japan’s Honda told Reuters it had found no defects in the systems and that its crash reports were based on unverified customer statements “to meet the NHTSA’s 24-hour reporting deadline.”

No other automaker reported more than 10 ADAS crashes during the period.

Despite the limitations, NHTSA said the data was essential to quickly spot potential defects or security trends. Incidents that occur when an advanced system is turned on within 30 seconds of a crash must be reported to the NHTSA within 24 hours.

“By providing the NHTSA with critical and timely safety data, our investigators will quickly identify potential defect trends,” NHTSA Administrator Steven Cliff told reporters. He warned that the raw number of incidents reported by manufacturer is “in itself insufficient to draw any conclusions”.

The agency plans to release new data monthly.

NHTSA took a close look at Autopilot, saying last week it was upgrading its probe to 830,000 Tesla vehicles with the system, a required step before it could request a recall. The regulator had opened a preliminary review to assess Autopilot’s performance after about a dozen crashes in which Tesla vehicles slammed into stopped emergency vehicles.

Separately, NHTSA has opened 35 special crash investigations involving Tesla vehicles suspected of using ADAS. Those Tesla investigations have reported a total of 14 deaths, including a crash in California in May that killed three people.

Tesla says Autopilot will allow the vehicles to automatically brake and steer within their lanes, but they will not be able to drive themselves.