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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.
TO THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION: Define a standard format for reporting automated vehicle control systems data, and require manufacturers of vehicles equipped with automated vehicle control systems to report incidents, crashes, and vehicle miles operated with such systems enabled.
Original recommendation transmittal letter:
Open - Acceptable Response
Williston, FL, United States
Preliminary Report, Highway HWY16FH018
Collision Between a Car Operating With Automated Vehicle Control Systems and a Tractor-Semitrailer Truck Near Williston, Florida May 7, 2016
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status:
NHTSA (Open - Acceptable Response)
Safety Recommendation History
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. …
Although we believe that the recommended standard reporting format could be developed independently of the previously discussed data parameters, we are encouraged by your plans to address this issue. We look forward to receiving updates on your efforts to capture exposure data about automated vehicle control system technology deployment as well as usage and crash data for the vehicle fleet. Pending our review of the final product of these efforts, Safety Recommendation H-17-40 is classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.
-From Heidi R. King, Deputy Administrator: As indicated in our response to Recommendation H-17-37, the research to define data parameters of EDRs specific to automated technologies is being planned. Associated with that planning, NHTSA will investigate the need for a standard format for reporting such data. Based on this plan, NHTSA respectfully requests NTSB classify Safety Recommendation H-17-40 as "Open-Acceptable 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 http://www.ntsb.gov. Among the Safety Recommendations are three new recommendations and two reiterated recommendations issued to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which can be found on pages 43 and 44 of the report. The NTSB is vitally interested in these recommendations because they are 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 these recommendations. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendations by number.
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