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Safety Recommendation H-15-005
Details
Synopsis: In 2012 alone, more than 1.7 million rear-end crashes occurred on our nation’s highways, resulting in more than 1,700 fatalities and 500,000 injured people. Many of these crashes could have been mitigated, or possibly even prevented, had rear-end collision avoidance technologies been in place. However, slow and insufficient action on the part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop performance standards for these technologies and require them in passenger and commercial vehicles, as well as a lack of incentives for manufacturers, has contributed to the ongoing and unacceptable frequency of rear-end crashes. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has an extensive history of investigating rear-end crashes and has encouraged technological countermeasures since 1995. To date, the NTSB has issued 12 recommendations pertaining to this safety issue. In 2001, the NTSB released a Special Investigation Report on rear-end crashes that focused on technology as a potential countermeasure and made several recommendations to federal agencies and vehicle manufacturers (NTSB 2001). Due to a lack of progress in the implementation of NTSB recommendations intended to mitigate or prevent rear-end crashes, the recent technological advancements in collision avoidance technologies, and the continued prevalence of rear-end crashes, the NTSB is revisiting the topic of rear-end crash prevention.
Recommendation: TO THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION: Complete, as soon as possible, the development and application of performance standards and protocols for the assessment of forward collision avoidance systems in commercial vehicles. (Safety Recommendation H-15-005 supersedes Safety Recommendation H-01-006)
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Highway
Location: United States
Is Reiterated: Yes
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA14SS001
Accident Reports:
Report #: HAR-15-02
Accident Date: 11/20/2013
Issue Date: 6/8/2015
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: NHTSA (Open - Acceptable Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 7/12/2019
Response: We note that you have moved forward with your frontal collision avoidance research and are now studying how next-generation systems perform on heavy vehicles in real-world situations. We understand that trucks have been the focus of this work, and we encourage you to test and evaluate various types of heavy vehicles, including different types of buses, to understand the systems’ safety benefits. Your efforts thus far show progress toward addressing these recommendations. Pending publication of the recommended standards and requirement, Safety Recommendations H 15-5 and H-18-8 are classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NHTSA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/4/2019
Response: -From Heidi R. King, Deputy Administrator: NHTSA is engaged with reducing frontal collisions and continues to investigate automatic emergency braking technologies. NHTSA researched early versions of automatic forward collision avoidance systems present in MY 2013-2015 vehicles. On October 16, 2015, NHTSA granted a petition for rulemaking submitted by the Truck Safety Coalition, the Center for Auto Safety, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and Road Safe America to establish a safety standard to require automatic forward collision avoidance and mitigation systems on certain heavy vehicles. NHTSA is currently researching next generation technology for heavy vehicles with a GVWR greater than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) equipped with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking (AEB). AEB system suppliers have released new products which are designed to address the shortcomings of the previous generation of AEB systems. These systems have been designed to offer improved threat detection (e.g., reduce false activations that were observed on the earlier systems) and new features such as the ability to activate and brake when encountering stationary objects. NHTSA is interested in the real-world performance of these new systems and is currently studying this next generation technology through a naturalistic study using a field operation test. We expect to complete this critical field operation testing within 18-24 months. This research and other information will help inform an agency decision on next steps, including any further rulemaking actions. Based on the information we are providing, NHTSA respectfully requests that NTSB classify Safety Recommendations H-18-008 and H-15-005 as "Open-Acceptable Response."

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 11/21/2017
Response: -From the NTSB Highway Safety Report HAR-17-04 “Motorcoach Collision With Combination Vehicle After Traffic Break on Interstate 10 Palm Springs, California, October 23, 2016.” Adopted October 31, 2017 and issued November 21, 2017: 2.7 Collision Avoidance Systems The NTSB has been advocating for various collision avoidance systems (CAS) since 1995, when the Board recommended in Safety Recommendation H-95-44 that the DOT examine the efficacy of collision warning systems (CWS) in commercial vehicles (NTSB 1995). In 2001, as part of a special investigation report, the Board issued 10 recommendations pertaining to the development and adoption of collision avoidance technologies (NTSB 2001). Although technologies have advanced considerably since 2001, the level of deployment of CAS in highway vehicles has remained minimal. More importantly, the rate of rear-end crashes, which forward CAS are designed to prevent, remains unaffected. In 2015, the NTSB published an updated special investigation report on forward CAS, including CWS and autonomous emergency braking systems, which contained six recommendations to vehicle manufacturers and NHTSA (NTSB 2015b). Specifically, the NTSB recommended that both passenger and commercial vehicle manufacturers take the following actions:89 Install forward collision avoidance systems that include, at a minimum, a forward collision warning component, as standard equipment on all new vehicles. (H-15-8) Once the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publishes performance standards for autonomous emergency braking, install systems meeting those standards on all new vehicles. (H-15-9) Safety Recommendations H-15-8 and -9 are classified “Open?Await Response” for the commercial vehicle manufacturers Daimler Trucks North America LLC, Fuji Heavy Industries USA Inc., and MCI; they are classified “Open—Acceptable Response” for the commercial vehicle manufacturers Hino Motors Manufacturing USA Inc., Navistar Inc., PACCAR Inc., Van Hool NV, and Volvo Group North America LLC. With the understanding that commercial vehicles may require different performance parameters than those for passenger vehicles, the NTSB also issued the following recommendation to NHTSA: Complete, as soon as possible, the development and application of performance standards and protocols for the assessment of forward collision avoidance systems in commercial vehicles. (H-15-5) Based on NHTSA’s response, which did not address CAS in commercial vehicles, the NTSB classified Safety Recommendation H-15-5 “Open?Unacceptable Response.” The large dimensions of the truck, coupled with the sparse surrounding traffic, would have made the truck a detectable obstacle for a forward CAS. The NTSB concludes that the installation of CAS technology in all highway vehicles could prevent the occurrence of rear-end crashes similar to this crash. Therefore, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendations H-15-8 and -9 to Daimler Trucks North America LLC, Fuji Heavy Industries USA Inc., Hino Motors Manufacturing USA Inc., MCI, Navistar Inc., PACCAR Inc., Van Hool NV, and Volvo Group North America LLC. Further, to ensure that the CAS components for commercial vehicles, particularly autonomous emergency braking systems, are manufactured to optimal performance standards, the NTSB also reiterates Safety Recommendation H-15-5 to NHTSA.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 11/13/2017
Response: As we noted in our June 7, 2016, letter, it is not clear how this research, as explained in both your December 18, 2015, and March 21, 2016, letters, will lead to the recommended performance standards and testing protocols for CAS in commercial and passenger vehicles. Please send us a proposed timetable of actions for your implementation of these recommendations. Pending our receipt of that information, Safety Recommendations H-15-4 and -5 remain classified OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 4/18/2017
Response: From the NTSB Highway accident report "Motorcoach Collision with Crash Attenuator in Gore Area, US Highway 101, San Jose, California, January 19, 2016" HAR-17-01, PB2017-101430, which was adopted on March 28, 2017: 2.6 Collision Avoidance Systems The NTSB has advocated for various CAS technologies for more than 20 years. In the investigation of a 1995 multivehicle collision in Menifee, Arkansas, the NTSB recommended that the DOT test CWS in commercial vehicles (Safety Recommendation H-95-44; NTSB 1995). Since then, we have issued 19 recommendations pertaining to collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and AEB systems in both passenger and commercial vehicles. As part of this effort, the NTSB recently issued a special investigation report in which we examined advances in CAS technologies and issued the following recommendations to motorcoach manufacturers (NTSB 2015b): H-15-8 Install forward collision avoidance systems that include, at a minimum, a forward collision warning component, as standard equipment on all new vehicles. H-15-9 Once the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publishes performance standards for autonomous emergency braking, install systems meeting those standards on all new vehicles. Acknowledging that the CAS performance parameters in passenger and commercial vehicles may differ, the NTSB also issued the following safety recommendation to NHTSA (NTSB 2015b): H-15-5 Complete, as soon as possible, the development and application of performance standards and protocols for the assessment of forward collision avoidance systems in commercial vehicles. Safety Recommendations H-15-8 and -9 are classified “Open-Await Response” for MCI, and Safety Recommendation H-15-5 is classified “Open-Unacceptable Response.” Although 20 percent of the Greyhound fleet is equipped with some type of CAS, the MCI bus involved in this crash had neither a CWS nor an AEB system. In a test scenario representing crash conditions, NTSB investigators showed that CAS would have been effective in preventing or mitigating the severity of the crash. The tested system detected the crash attenuator in 18 of 19 trials and then provided a warning 2?3 seconds before impact and activated the AEB 1-2 seconds before impact. The testing was conducted on a CAS-equipped truck-tractor. The effect of AEB in motorcoaches may vary due to differences in design of the brake systems, but the benefits of CWS remain: the technology is clearly capable of detecting the stationary hazard and warning the driver in time to mitigate the consequences of the crash. The NTSB concludes that had the bus been equipped with a CAS technology, it could have alerted the driver of the forward hazard in time to mitigate the severity of the crash. Therefore, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendations H-15-8 and -9 to MCI. To ensure that CAS components for commercial vehicles, particularly AEB, are manufactured to optimal performance standards, the NTSB also reiterates Safety Recommendation H-15-5 to NHTSA.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 6/7/2016
Response: We note that you continue to research forward collision avoidance systems and supporting technologies; however, we are concerned that your efforts as described will not fully address the intent of these recommendations. It is not clear to us how this research, as explained in both your December 18, 2015, and March 21, 2016, letters, will lead to the recommended performance standards and testing protocols for CAS in commercial and passenger vehicles. We would appreciate receiving a proposed timetable of actions for your implementation of these recommendations, as required by Title 49 United States Code Section 1135 (http://www.ntsb.gov/legal/Pages/ntsb_statute.aspx#1135). Accordingly, pending completion of the recommended actions, Safety Recommendations H-15-4 and -5 are classified OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NHTSA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/21/2016
Response: -From Mark R. Rosekind, Ph.D., Administrator: With regard to Safety Recommendations H-15-4 and H-15-5, we request that these recommendations be classified as "Open-Acceptable Response." NHTSA is currently researching forward collision avoidance systems as part of its in-vehicle crash avoidance program. This progran1 encompasses projects that focus on vehicle-based equipment, systems, and technologies-such as forward collision avoidance systems-that help ensure that motor vehicles are optimally prepared to prevent crashes from occurring. These technologies involve on-board equipment, such as sensors or cameras, that do not require communication between vehicles. With regard to Safety Recommendations H -15-6 and H -15-7, we request that these safety recommendations be classified "Open-Acceptable Response." On December 16, 2015, NHTSA published planned enhancements to our New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) that would assess safety ratings for vehicles that incorporate advanced technologies, including forward collision avoidance technologies, and discussed addressing changes to the Monroney label. We believe that these new safety ratings, when adopted, will fully address Safety Recommendations H-15-6 and H-15-7.

From: NHTSA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/18/2015
Response: -From Mark R. Rosekind, Ph.D., Administrator: NHTSA is currently researching the development of forward collision avoidance systems as part of its in-vehicle crash avoidance program. This program encompasses projects that focus on vehicle-based equipment, systems, and technologies that help ensure that motor vehicles are optimally prepared to prevent crashes from occurring. These technologies involve on-board equipment such as sensors or cameras that do not require communication between vehicles. We request that this recommendation be classified as "Open-Acceptable Response."

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 9/8/2015
Response: Reiterated in the Highway Accident Report “Multivehicle Work Zone Crash on Interstate 95 Cranbury, New Jersey, June 7, 2014” HAR-15-02, Notation 8717, Adopted August 11, 2015, Published September 8, 2015. The NTSB recently published a special investigation report on The Use of Forward Collision Avoidance Systems to Prevent and Mitigate Rear-End Crashes; the report changed the status of these three recommendations (NTSB 2015a). It classified Safety Recommendations H-01-7 and H-08-15 “Closed—Unacceptable Action.” It classified Safety Recommendation H-01-6 “Closed—Unacceptable Action/Superseded” and superseded it with the following new safety recommendation to NHTSA: H-15-5 Complete, as soon as possible, the development and application of performance standards and protocols for the assessment of forward collision avoidance systems in commercial vehicles. The NTSB recognizes that NHTSA has not yet had time to formulate a response to this new recommendation, but the high-velocity impact of the Walmart Transportation truck encountering slowed traffic in a work zone queue highlighted the need for collision avoidance systems on heavy trucks with performance parameters different from those for lighter vehicles. Therefore, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendation H-15-5 to NHTSA because it is relevant to the circumstances of the Cranbury crash.