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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-17-037
Synopsis: At 4:36 p.m. eastern daylight time on Saturday, May 7, 2016, a 2015 Tesla Model S 70D car, traveling eastbound on US Highway 27A (US-27A) west of Williston, Florida, struck a semitrailer powered by a 2014 Freightliner Cascadia truck tractor. At the time of the collision, the truck was making a left turn from westbound US 27A across the two eastbound travel lanes onto NE 140th Court, a local paved road. The car struck the right side of the semitrailer, crossed underneath it, and then went off the right roadside at a shallow angle. Impact with the underside of the semitrailer sheared off the roof of the car. After leaving the roadway, the car continued through a drainage culvert and two wire fences. It then struck and broke a utility pole, rotated counterclockwise, and came to rest perpendicular to the highway in the front yard of a private residence. Meanwhile, the truck continued across the intersection and came to a stop on NE 140th Court, south of a retail business located on the intersection corner. The driver and sole occupant of the car died in the crash; the commercial truck driver was not injured.
Recommendation: TO THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: Define the data parameters needed to understand the automated vehicle control systems involved in a crash. The parameters must reflect the vehicle’s control status and the frequency and duration of control actions to adequately characterize driver and vehicle performance before and during a crash.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Initial Response Received
Mode: Highway
Location: Williston, FL, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: HWY16FH018
Accident Reports: Preliminary Report, ​Highway HWY16FH018Collision Between a Car Operating With Automated Vehicle Control Systems and a Tractor-Semitrailer Truck Near Williston, Florida May 7, 2016
Report #: HAR-17-02
Accident Date: 5/7/2016
Issue Date: 9/28/2017
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: DOT (Open - Initial Response Received)

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
Date: 12/20/2018
Response: From the NTSB’s December 20, 2018 ANPRM Comment Letter: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the Department of Transportation (DOT) announcement of an updated policy for Automated Vehicles 3.0 (AV 3.0) and is providing comments. The NTSB has also considered the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM), titled “Pilot Program for Collaborative Research on Motor Vehicles With High or Full Driving Automation” (83 Federal Register 196, October 10, 2018). This correspondence includes comments on both AV 3.0 and the ANPRM; we are providing two copies, one for each docket, and request that the correspondence be filed in both dockets. … The inclusion of “Key Terms and Acronyms” in AV 3.0 is encouraging because it points to the necessary expansion and continued development of standardized technical definitions applicable to automated systems. A taxonomy for common use that facilitates understanding of and communication about system capability and operational design domains was addressed in the NTSB’s report on the Williston crash (Safety Recommendation H-17-40) and in ongoing industry workgroups (see Consumer Reports webinar: “The Future of ADAS: New CR Ratings for Today’s Vehicles, Tomorrow’s Vehicles, and the Road Ahead”). A common taxonomy will allow for comparisons between manufacturers and for establishing an evaluation framework. The NTSB recognizes the DOT’s need to coordinate and continually develop automated vehicle terminology in response to the evolving technology that will be associated with Level 4 and Level 5 vehicles. AV 3.0 also introduces relevant data needs for understanding the operation and safety of HAVs (as in NTSB Safety Recommendations H-17-37, -39, and -40). However, the necessary specifications for data structure (such as standard data elements, timing, and format) have yet to be addressed. … The ANPRM makes common reference to safety, without defining the term. For the purposes of on-road testing, the definition of safe must be qualified by NHTSA and the states; the question for prequalification cannot be left to manufacturers. Following the NTSB recommendations resulting from its investigation of the fatal crash near Williston, Florida, the collection and dissemination of data to NHTSA, the DOT, and the NTSB when appropriate, is critical to establishing safety (as in NTSB Safety Recommendations H-17-37 and -39). As a final note, the DOT has an important responsibility to ensure the safe development and deployment of AV technologies, and this safety should not be voluntary. Policy thus far has carried an overarching message of promoting AV development, but a clear logic to require safety has not yet been crafted. The DOT can and should provide this required safety leadership. …

From: DOT
Date: 2/7/2018
Response: -From Heidi R. King, Deputy Administrator: On September 15, 2017, NHTSA sent SAE International a letter requesting their assistance in the development of industry standards that define data elements needed for crash reconstruction purposes. An initial meeting was held in November 2017 with the mutual recognition that the Automated Driving Systems' (ADSs) ecosystem would benefit greatly through this effort. Consensus standards developed by SAE International are routinely adopted and widely implemented by vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. Additionally, NHTSA is in the final stages of preparing a report in response to a requirement in the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act to examine "the amount of time event data recorders [EDRs] installed in passenger motor vehicles should capture and record for retrieval vehicle-related data in conjunction with an event in order to provide sufficient information to investigate the cause of motor vehicle crashes." NHTSA sent a copy of the final technical report to SAE International to be used as input for their work on crash data elements for ADSs. Manufacturers are not currently required to enable vehicles to record data from usage of driving automation systems (SAE Levels LI-LS) or operation of such systems during crash triggered events. The ability for traditional vehicle manufacturers and other stakeholders to report on automated technology system use and its operation during incidents and crashes is highly dependent on each vehicle's specific recording and downloading technology. In certain instances, some customer use information may be available to stakeholders via over-the- air (OT A) telemetric systems that may be installed in the vehicle. In other instances, there may be no such means to obtain ·information regarding operation of the vehicle. DOT' s newly released Automated Driving Systems 2. 0: A Vision for Safety, Section 1: Voluntary Guidance for ADS Safety Elements, describes recommended best practices for data recording. In that section, NHTSA encourages entities engaging in ADS testing or deployment to collect crash-related vehicle data and have the capability to share that data with government authorities for crash reconstruction purposes. It is anticipated that many of these systems will be installed with OT A capability. Consistent with the Department's approach to oversight of ADS technology, NHTSA believes this is best accomplished through voluntary compliance until industry consensus on standard data elements can be established. The guidance may be applied in part to any level of automation. Based on the information provided, DOT respectfully requests that NTSB classify Safety Recommendation H-17-37 as Open--Acceptable Response.

From: NTSB
Date: 9/28/2017
Response: On September 12, 2017, the NTSB adopted its report Collision Between a Car Operating With Automated Vehicle Control Systems and a Tractor-Semitrailer Truck Near Williston, Florida, May 7, 2016, NTSB/HAR-17/02. The details of this accident investigation and the resulting safety recommendations may be found in the attached report, which can also be accessed at Among the Safety Recommendations is one issued to the US Department of Transportation, which can be found on page 43 of the report. The NTSB is vitally interested in this recommendation because it is designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate a response within 90 days, detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement this recommendation. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendation by number.