Automated Vehicles - Related and Supportive Technologies

​​​​Collision avoidance systems

​​Systems like forward collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB) are driver assistance systems that can detect forward hazards, alert the driver, and if necessary, automatically brake to prevent a crash or mitigate its severity.

The NTSB issued its first safety recommendation pertaining to FCW in commercial vehicles in 1995. Since then, we have issued more than 20 safety recommendations focusing on developing performance standards and implementing these systems in both passenger and commercial vehicles.

In 2015, we published a special investigative report in which we recommended that passenger and commercial vehicle manufacturers install FCW and AEB as standard equipment in all new vehicles. Five months later, passenger vehicle manufacturers came to a voluntary agreement with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to equip new vehicles with these systems as standard equipment ​by 2022. 

In our 2015 report, we also recommended that NHTSA expand the US new car assessment program (NCAP) to include performance ratings of collision avoidance systems. As of January, 2022, NHTSA still has not expanded NCAP.

​Learn more about the implementation of collision avoidance systems and how to advocate for them on our Most Wanted List.​

Connected vehicle technology

NTSB has supported the development and implementation of CV technology for more than 20 years. ​Connected vehicle technology relies on direct communication with roadway users to detect impending collisions, alert the driver, and if necessary, automatically brake. Communication between vehicles if referred to as vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), but this technology has broader applications, as it also allows vehicles to communicate with instrumented infrastructure or to detect vulnerable road users such as pedestrians. ​The variety of communication targets are collectively known as vehicle-to-everything (V2X).

NTSB issued its first safety recommendation pertaining to connected vehicle technology in 1995, when we recommended that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocate frequency for such technology. Since then, we have investigated numerous crashes in which CV technology could have prevented or mitigated the severity of a collision. As a result of an investigation of one such crash in 2013, the NTSB issued safety recommendations to NHTSA to develop performance standards and mandate CV technology in all highway vehicles.

We were very supportive of NHTSA’s proposed mandate in 2017, when the agency started a rulemaking process to require CV technology in all new passenger vehicles. Since then, a competing communication protocol has emerged, and the Department of Transportation has stalled the rulemaking process.

In May 2021, the FCC finalized a rulemaking that substantially reduced the communication spectrum dedicated for V2X technology, compromising the viability of V2X implementation.

​​NTSB developed a video series examining the overview of the current state of V2X, the impact of the FCC actions and the tenuous future of this technology in the US. Learn more at the V2X: Preserving the Future of Connected Vehicle Technology​​. 

Visit the Require Collision-Avoidance and Connected-Vehicle Technologies on all Vehicles​  page to learn more about the implementation ​and how to advocate for it on our​​ ​​Most Wanted List.​