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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-17-041
Details
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 MANUFACTURERS OF VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH LEVEL 2 VEHICLE AUTOMATION SYSTEMS (VOLKSWAGEN GROUP OF AMERICA, BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, NISSAN GROUP OF NORTH AMERICA, MERCEDES-BENZ USA, TESLA INC., AND VOLVO GROUP NORTH AMERICA): Incorporate system safeguards that limit the use of automated vehicle control systems to those conditions for which they were designed.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Highway
Location: Williston, FL, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: 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: BMW North America LLC (Open - Acceptable Response)
Mercedes-Benz USA LLC (Open - Acceptable Response)
Nissan Group of North America, Inc. (Open - Acceptable Response)
Tesla Motors (Open - Await Response)
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Open - Acceptable Response)
Volvo Cars of North America, Inc. (Open - Acceptable Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
Date: 5/29/2018
Response: We recognize that our Williston investigation involved a Level-2 system vehicle, and that manufacturers’ development work is now focused on more advanced functionality. We also recognize that the upcoming vehicles with higher levels of automation are likely to retain the functionality of a Level-2 automated system. However, until Level-5 automation systems are fully developed, humans will need to assume multiple roles, either as active drivers, passive monitors of automated driving systems, or available drivers prepared to intervene when requested by the automation. Our intent in issuing these recommendations is to make you aware of the evidence we found that a driver is willing to engage automated systems in situations beyond their design envelope. We appreciate your detailed description of the Volkswagen Group’s automation features that constrain driver operations and monitor driver engagement. As you move forward in developing your automated vehicles, we encourage you to address an important issue that we found in our Williston investigation by limiting the use of automated vehicle control systems to only those conditions for which they were designed, which are defined by you, the manufacturer. Examples of such conditions include roadway type, geographic location, clear roadway markings, weather conditions, speed range, lighting condition, and other manufacturer-defined system performance criteria or constraints. Further, we encourage you to explore driver monitoring systems beyond those measuring steering wheel torque to capture where a driver is focusing his or her attention, or, if relying solely on torque, to describe how this method provides the appropriate level of driver engagement. We look forward to receiving periodic updates from you on your efforts to incorporate these safeguards into your automated systems. Until such actions are complete, Safety Recommendations H-17-41 and -42 are classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE. Thank you for your ongoing efforts to improve vehicle safety.

From: Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 12/18/2017
Response: -From Thomas Zorn, Senior Director, Safety Affairs and Advanced Research: Currently Volkswagen Group of America offers Level 2 Partially automated systems in select Audi models. These models offer a system called Audi Traffic Jam Assist (TJA). TJA assists the driver by providing lateral and longitudinal controls in certain congested environments below 40 mph. In addition to the TJA, these vehicles have two separate Level 1 systems that, when used in combination with each other, also constitute as a level 2 system; Audi Active Lane Assist (AALA) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). Provided that lane markings are visible and detected by the system AALA works by supporting the driver in keeping their lane by providing torque input into the steering wheel as the vehicle approaches the edges of the lane. AALA can also assist the driver by actively centering the vehicle in the current lane. ACC maintains the set cruise speed, applies the brakes to preserve a predetermined following distance when approaching a slower-moving vehicle, and accelerates to the set cruising speed when the area in front of the vehicle is no longer obstructed by other vehicles. ACC and AALA combined operate between 40 mph and 95 mph. TJA, ACC and AALA are not hands free systems or replacement systems for the driver and require driver engagement at all times. The TJA system has safeguards in place to ensure the system is being used in those conditions for which it was designed and to significantly reduce the possibility of driver complacency and overreliance on the driver assistant systems for the reasons described below. For TJA to be activated, various criteria must be met: - ACC active; - AALA enabled; - TJA activated in Multi-Media Interface (MMI); - Driver must be buckled up; - Speed to be between 0 and 40 mph - Estimated available lane width is sufficient (at least 2.4 m); - Estimated lane can be scanned far enough ahead (at least 16 m); - Distance between the vehicle and the edge of the estimated lane is sufficiently large; - Estimated lane has a radius of less than 150 m - Either 2 vehicles ahead or 1 vehicle ahead and 1 vehicle in adjacent lane detected - Hands on the steering wheel If the above criteria are not met, then TJA will not engage. If the criteria is no longer met while TJA is active, then the system will deactivate and inform the driver that it is no longer available.

From: NTSB
To: Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
Date: 11/13/2017
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notice of public availability and request for comments concerning the guidance document “Automated Driving Systems: A Vision for Safety,” published at 82 Federal Register 178, September 15, 2017. As a result of the Williston crash investigation, the NTSB issued multiple safety recommendations addressing the need to incorporate system safeguards to limit the use of automated vehicle control systems to those conditions for which they were designed. The NTSB also recommended that both the US Department of Transportation and NHTSA define the data parameters that must be recorded by vehicles operating with automated control systems of any level. We further recommended the establishment of reporting requirements for automated vehicles addressing incidents, crashes, and vehicle miles traveled with automated systems enabled. Finally, the NTSB recommended that manufacturers of Level 2 automated vehicle systems incorporate safeguards to limit system operations to their intended domains, and develop more effective applications to sense the driver’s degree of engagement with the driving task.

From: NTSB
To: Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
Date: 9/28/2017
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. We determine the probable cause of the accidents and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, we carry out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinate the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. 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 two issued to Volkswagen Group of America, which can be found on page 43 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.

From: NTSB
To: BMW North America LLC
Date: 5/15/2018
Response: We recognize that our Williston investigation involved a Level-2 system vehicle, and that manufacturers’ development work is now focused on more advanced functionality. We also recognize that the upcoming vehicles with higher levels of automation are likely to retain the functionality of a Level-2 automated system. However, until Level-5 automation systems are fully developed, humans will need to assume multiple roles, either as active drivers, passive monitors of automated driving systems, or available drivers prepared to intervene when requested by the automation. Our intent in issuing these recommendations is to make you aware of the evidence we found that a driver is willing to engage automated systems in situations beyond their design envelope. We appreciate your detailed description of the BMW Group’s automation features that constrain driver operatons and monitor driver engagement. As you move forward in developing your automated vehicles, we encourage you to address an important issue that we found in our Williston investigation by limiting the use of automated vehicle control systems to only those conditions for which they were designed, which are defined by you, the manufacturer. Examples of such conditions include roadway type, geographic location, clear roadway markings, weather conditions, speed range, lighting condition, and other manufacturer-defined system performance criteria or constraints. Further, we encourage you to explore driver monitoring systems beyond those measuring steering wheel torque to capture where a driver is focusing his or her attention, or, if relying solely on torque, to describe why this method provides the appropriate level of driver engagement. We look forward to receiving periodic updates from you on your efforts to incorporate these safeguards into your automated systems. Until such actions are complete, Safety Recommendations H-17-41 and -42 are classified OPEN-ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE. Thank you for your ongoing efforts to improve vehicle safety.

From: BMW North America LLC
To: NTSB
Date: 12/19/2017
Response: -From Samuel Campbell, Department Head for Safety Engineering and ITS, BMW Group: SAE standard J3016, Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms Related to Driving Automation Systems for On-Road Motor Vehicles, in part defines levels of driving automation in Level 0 through Level 5. Level 2 driving automation, the basis of the NTSB recommendation, is defined as "Partial" Driving Automation" where the sustained execution of both the lateral and longitudinal vehicle motion control portions of the dynamic driving task (DDT) can be accomplished by the automated driving systems within a limited and defined operational design domain (ODD). Situations where the system can be enabled must correspond to the functional strategy and the safety concept of the system. Limitation of the system may be required in certain operational design domains even when the functional strategy of a Level 2 system includes the driver. Nevertheless, Level 2 systems such as BMW's current Steering and Lane Control Assistant is capable of being activated on many types of roadways as the system was designed to address possible risks of those different domains. This includes safeguards to keep the driver in the loop. To transparently communicate the driver's responsibility, BMW implemented measures such as soft lateral support, limited torque input to the steering system, and cooperative steering to reduce misuse of the system and to keep the driver engaged. Cooperative steering combines steering inputs of the system and the driver to encourage mutual vehicle guidance. This effectively reminds the driver to remain involved in the driving task and it precludes misinterpretations of the system's capability. As a supplemental measure, BMW incorporates a hands off detection (HOD) system that is based on a capacitive sensor mat fitted on the steering wheel collar. This system functions by measuring and evaluating the change in capacitance of the sensor mat which is caused by touching the steering wheel. Above walking speeds, the system tolerates a brief period of significantly less than a minute if the driver takes his/her hands off the steering wheel. After this brief period, if the system detects the driver's hands are not on the steering wheel, the system will initiate a visual Hands-On Request (HOR) in the instrument cluster. After this brief period, if the system detects the driver's hands are not on the steering wheel the system will initiate a visual Hands-On Request (HOR) in the instrument cluster. If the driver does not respond to the HOR, a Take-Over Request (TOR) will be initiated with an audible warning and a visual warning in the instrument cluster. If the driver continues not to respond, the system will deactivate. BMW also recognizes the importance of consumer education regarding the functionality and usage of automated driving systems in our vehicles. On a practical level, BMW provides to consumers a detailed description of its Level 2 system, Steering and Lane Control Assistant, in owner's manuals including: 1) guiding principles of the system; 2) the functionality of the system; 3) functional limitations of the system; and 4) safety warnings. Excerpts of this information from the owner's manual are included in the Appendix to this letter.

From: NTSB
To: BMW North America LLC
Date: 11/13/2017
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notice of public availability and request for comments concerning the guidance document “Automated Driving Systems: A Vision for Safety,” published at 82 Federal Register 178, September 15, 2017. As a result of the Williston crash investigation, the NTSB issued multiple safety recommendations addressing the need to incorporate system safeguards to limit the use of automated vehicle control systems to those conditions for which they were designed. The NTSB also recommended that both the US Department of Transportation and NHTSA define the data parameters that must be recorded by vehicles operating with automated control systems of any level. We further recommended the establishment of reporting requirements for automated vehicles addressing incidents, crashes, and vehicle miles traveled with automated systems enabled. Finally, the NTSB recommended that manufacturers of Level 2 automated vehicle systems incorporate safeguards to limit system operations to their intended domains, and develop more effective applications to sense the driver’s degree of engagement with the driving task.

From: NTSB
To: BMW North America LLC
Date: 9/28/2017
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. We determine the probable cause of the accidents and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, we carry out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinate the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. 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 two issued to BMW of North America, which can be found on page 43 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.

From: NTSB
To: Nissan Group of North America, Inc.
Date: 8/22/2018
Response: We recognize that our Williston investigation involved a Level-2 system vehicle, and that manufacturers’ development work is now focused on more advanced functionality. We also recognize that the upcoming vehicles with higher levels of automation are likely to retain the functionality of a Level-2 automated system. However, until Level-5 automation systems are fully developed, humans will need to assume multiple roles, either as active drivers, passive monitors of automated driving systems, or available drivers prepared to intervene when requested by the automation. Our intent in issuing these recommendations is to make you aware of the evidence we found that a driver is willing to engage automated systems in situations beyond their design envelope. We appreciate your detailed description of Nissan’s automation features that constrain driver operations and monitor driver engagement. As you move forward in developing your automated vehicles, we encourage you to address an important issue that we found in our Williston investigation by limiting the use of automated vehicle control systems to only those conditions for which they were designed, which are defined by you, the manufacturer. Examples of such conditions include roadway type, geographic location, clear roadway markings, weather conditions, speed range, lighting condition, and other manufacturer-defined system performance criteria or constraints. Further, we encourage you to explore driver monitoring systems beyond those measuring steering wheel torque to capture where a driver is focusing his or her attention, or, if relying solely on torque, to describe why this method provides the appropriate level of driver engagement. We look forward to receiving periodic updates from you on your efforts to incorporate these safeguards into your automated systems. Until such actions are complete, Safety Recommendations H-17-41 and -42 are classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE. Thank you for your ongoing efforts to improve vehicle safety.

From: Nissan Group of North America, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 6/1/2018
Response: -From Selim Hammoud, Director, NNA Safety Officer, Product Safety, Environmental, FQA, Nissan North America, Inc.: On behalf of Nissan Group of North America, Inc. and Nissan Motor Company, Ltd., of Yokohama, Japan, (Nissan), I am responding to recommendations H-17-41 and H-17-42 (recommendations) to manufacturers of vehicles equipped with SAE Level 2 driving automation systems (Level 2 driving automation). We note that the recommendations were issued before Nissan began offering Level 2 driving automation systems for sale in the United States.1 However, since that time Nissan introduced Level 2 driving automation technology called ProPILOT Assist as an optional feature for the 2018 Nissan Rogue, 2018 Nissan LEAF, and the 2019 Infiniti QX50. Nissan recently announced that ProPILOT Assist will also be available on the 2019 Nissan Altima. ProPILOT Assist combines a steering assist function with intelligent cruise control to help drivers stay centered in the lane, navigate stop-and-go traffic, maintain a set vehicle speed and maintain a set distance to the vehicle ahead. The system is designed to help ease driver workload by reducing the amount of driver acceleration, steering and braking input under certain driving conditions. Throughout its operation, the system gives priority to the driver’s control input. The system uses a front camera installed behind the windshield and a radar sensor located on the front of the vehicle to measure the distance to the vehicle ahead in the same lane and to monitor the lane markers. If the vehicle detects a slower moving vehicle ahead, the system can reduce the vehicle speed so that the vehicle follows the vehicle in front at the selected distance. The system will also help keep the vehicle centered in the traveling lane when clear lane markings are detected. Importantly, ProPILOT Assist is a strictly hands-on-the-wheel technology and Nissan very clearly communicates this to our customers through responsible communications, through training of dealership sales personnel, and clear Owner’s Manual instructions. In fact, Nissan was very deliberate in including the word “Assist” in naming this technology, and always includes the word “Assist” when referring to the feature; Nissan believes this helps customers better appreciate its intended function whenever they see the technology mentioned. ProPILOT Assist also utilizes a robust hands-on detection system described in greater detail in our responses to the recommendations. As with other SAE Level 2 technologies, ProPILOT Assist is designed to operate cooperatively with the driver and requires the driver to remain engaged and ready to immediately respond to traffic around the vehicle and maintain lane position. The driver’s operation of the system is supported by the design of the vehicle information display and the hands-on detection system. The vehicle information display located in the meter panel in front of the driver visually depicts the system status during operation. Through a combination of icons, the driver can monitor the on/off status of ProPILOT Assist, whether the system detects the lane markers on either side of the vehicle, whether or not a vehicle ahead is detected, the selected following distance, the set traveling speed, and the on/off status of the steering assist function. Once ProPILOT Assist is turned on, the intelligent cruise control is engaged, and both the right-hand and left-hand lane markers are consistently detected, steering assist engages and the steering wheel/lane marker icons on the instrument panel turn green. Both right and left-hand markers need to be detected by the front camera before steering assist will engage. If the camera subsequently cannot detect either lane marker, the system will disengage and alert the driver through changes in the vehicle information display and with an audible alert. When there is no vehicle ahead, steering assist is not available at speeds under 37 mph (60 km/h). (i.e. low speed steering assist only works while in traffic) There are additional limitations to the operation of the ProPILOT Assist system; the system does not function in all driving, traffic, weather, and road conditions. These limitations are explained in the vehicle’s Owner’s Manual 2, alongside other information describing the normal operation of the system. If the system’s operational requirements are not satisfied, the driver is not able to engage the system. If a system limitation is encountered during operation, the ProPILOT Assist system will disengage and alert the driver through changes in the vehicle information display and with an audible alert. The system characteristics and limitations are communicated to the customer in a number of ways: • Nissan selected the name for ProPILOT Assist to clearly identify the system as an advanced driver assistance technology; • The operation of the system and its limitations are described in detail in the vehicle owner’s manual; • A quick reference guide is provided to the customer at the point of sale which includes an overview of the system and its limitations; • Nissan provides information online in the form of electronic Quick Reference Guides and YouTube videos which explain system function; • In its efforts to launch ProPILOT Assist, Nissan clearly communicated the proper use of the system to media and other analysts beginning in July (well ahead of launch) through press releases, infographics, videos, and in-person briefings to ensure that third-party reporting of ProPILOT Assist would accurately reflect the system’s capabilities and limitations.

From: NTSB
To: Nissan Group of North America, Inc.
Date: 11/13/2017
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notice of public availability and request for comments concerning the guidance document “Automated Driving Systems: A Vision for Safety,” published at 82 Federal Register 178, September 15, 2017. As a result of the Williston crash investigation, the NTSB issued multiple safety recommendations addressing the need to incorporate system safeguards to limit the use of automated vehicle control systems to those conditions for which they were designed. The NTSB also recommended that both the US Department of Transportation and NHTSA define the data parameters that must be recorded by vehicles operating with automated control systems of any level. We further recommended the establishment of reporting requirements for automated vehicles addressing incidents, crashes, and vehicle miles traveled with automated systems enabled. Finally, the NTSB recommended that manufacturers of Level 2 automated vehicle systems incorporate safeguards to limit system operations to their intended domains, and develop more effective applications to sense the driver’s degree of engagement with the driving task.

From: NTSB
To: Nissan Group of North America, Inc.
Date: 9/28/2017
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. We determine the probable cause of the accidents and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, we carry out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinate the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. 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 two issued to Nissan Group of North America, which can be found on page 43 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.

From: NTSB
To: Mercedes-Benz USA LLC
Date: 3/5/2018
Response: We recognize that our Williston investigation involved a Level-2 system vehicle, and that manufacturers’ development work is now focused on more advanced functionality. We also recognize that the upcoming vehicles with higher levels of automation are likely to retain the functionality of a Level-2 automated system. However, until Level-5 automation systems are fully developed, humans will need to assume multiple roles, either as active drivers, passive monitors of automated driving systems, or available drivers prepared to intervene when requested by the automation. Our intent in issuing these recommendations is to make you aware of the evidence we found that a driver is willing to engage automated systems in situations beyond their design envelope. We believe that these recommendations will remain relevant even as we move beyond Level 2 automated systems. We appreciate your description of MBUSA’s automation features that monitor driver engagement. As you move forward in developing your automated vehicles, we encourage you to include control systems that automatically restrict automated operations to the conditions for which they were designed. Further, we encourage you to explore monitoring systems beyond those measuring steering wheel torque to capture where a driver is focusing his or her attention. We look forward to receiving periodic updates from you on your efforts to incorporate these safeguards into your automated systems. Until such actions are complete, Safety Recommendations H-17-41 and -42 are classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: Mercedes-Benz USA LLC
To: NTSB
Date: 12/8/2017
Response: -From David S. Tait, General Manager, Engineering Services, Mercedes-Benz, USA, LLC: As Level 2 driving automation features require the driver to remain engaged in the driving task at all times while the features are activated, MBUSA systems are designed to utilize a cooperative steering philosophy, whereby the driver steers but receives support from the systems. If the systems detect that the driver is not fulfilling his/her responsibility of engaging in the driving task, an escalating cascade of visual and audible warnings precedes a controlled full deceleration of the vehicle if no corrective action is taken by the driver. This full deceleration is designed to increase road safety by bringing the vehicle to a controlled stop, applying the parking brake, and activating the hazard warning lights in the event that a driver becomes medically incapable of performing the driving task, or otherwise refuses to do so. Additionally, if the driver responds to the feature's warnings by simply applying the throttle via the accelerator pedal, the system that can assist in steering the vehicle will still deactivate, as throttle input alone is not considered a reengagement by the driver for the steering requirements of the driving task.

From: NTSB
To: Mercedes-Benz USA LLC
Date: 11/13/2017
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notice of public availability and request for comments concerning the guidance document “Automated Driving Systems: A Vision for Safety,” published at 82 Federal Register 178, September 15, 2017. As a result of the Williston crash investigation, the NTSB issued multiple safety recommendations addressing the need to incorporate system safeguards to limit the use of automated vehicle control systems to those conditions for which they were designed. The NTSB also recommended that both the US Department of Transportation and NHTSA define the data parameters that must be recorded by vehicles operating with automated control systems of any level. We further recommended the establishment of reporting requirements for automated vehicles addressing incidents, crashes, and vehicle miles traveled with automated systems enabled. Finally, the NTSB recommended that manufacturers of Level 2 automated vehicle systems incorporate safeguards to limit system operations to their intended domains, and develop more effective applications to sense the driver’s degree of engagement with the driving task.

From: NTSB
To: Mercedes-Benz USA LLC
Date: 9/28/2017
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. We determine the probable cause of the accidents and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, we carry out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinate the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. 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 two issued to Mercedes-Benz USA, which can be found on page 43 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.

From: NTSB
To: Tesla Motors
Date: 11/13/2017
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notice of public availability and request for comments concerning the guidance document “Automated Driving Systems: A Vision for Safety,” published at 82 Federal Register 178, September 15, 2017. As a result of the Williston crash investigation, the NTSB issued multiple safety recommendations addressing the need to incorporate system safeguards to limit the use of automated vehicle control systems to those conditions for which they were designed. The NTSB also recommended that both the US Department of Transportation and NHTSA define the data parameters that must be recorded by vehicles operating with automated control systems of any level. We further recommended the establishment of reporting requirements for automated vehicles addressing incidents, crashes, and vehicle miles traveled with automated systems enabled. Finally, the NTSB recommended that manufacturers of Level 2 automated vehicle systems incorporate safeguards to limit system operations to their intended domains, and develop more effective applications to sense the driver’s degree of engagement with the driving task.

From: NTSB
To: Tesla Motors
Date: 9/28/2017
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. We determine the probable cause of the accidents and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, we carry out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinate the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. 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 two issued to Tesla Inc., which can be found on page 43 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.

From: NTSB
To: Volvo Cars of North America, Inc.
Date: 5/15/2018
Response: We recognize that our Williston investigation involved a Level-2 system vehicle, and that manufacturers’ development work is now focused on more advanced functionality. We also recognize that the upcoming vehicles with higher levels of automation are likely to retain the functionality of a Level-2 automated system. However, until Level-5 automation systems are fully developed, humans will need to assume multiple roles, either as active drivers, passive monitors of automated driving systems, or available drivers prepared to intervene when requested by the automation. Our intent in issuing these recommendations is to make you aware of the evidence we found that a driver is willing to engage automated systems in situations beyond their design envelope. We appreciate your description of Volvo Car’s automation features that constrain driver operations and monitor driver engagement. As you move forward in developing your automated vehicles, we encourage you to address an important issue that we found in our Williston investigation by limiting the use of automated vehicle control systems to only those conditions for which they were designed, which are defined by you, the manufacturer. Examples of such conditions include roadway type, geographic location, clear roadway markings, weather conditions, speed range, lighting condition, and other manufacturer-defined system performance criteria or constraints. Further, we encourage you to explore driver monitoring systems beyond those measuring steering wheel torque to capture where a driver is focusing his or her attention, or, if relying solely on torque, to describe how this method provides the appropriate level of driver engagement. We look forward to receiving periodic updates from you on your efforts to incorporate these safeguards into your automated systems. Until such actions are complete, Safety Recommendations H-17-41 and -42 are classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE. Thank you for your ongoing efforts to improve vehicle safety.

From: Volvo Cars of North America, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 12/27/2017
Response: -From Katherine Yehl, Vice President Government Affairs the Americas, Volvo Car Corporation: Thank you for your letter regarding Report 17-02, PB2017 — 102600 and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendations for vehicle manufacturers equipped with Level 2 automation systems. Safety is a founding principle of Volvo Car Corporation (VCC) and VCC works hard to stay at the forefront of the industry by taking an overall approach to safety, which has proven effective in real world traffic situations. VCC invented the three point lap and shoulder safety belt and then gave away the global patent in order to save lives. It has been estimated that this one act could have saved over 1m lives globally. According to the latest US crash causation study, 94% of all crashes are due to human error. In 2016, traffic fatalities remain at epidemic levels. At VCC, we are appalled that 1.2 million people around the world are killed in traffic crashes annually — with over 35,000 of those deaths occurring in the U.S. alone. Crash avoidance and active safety technologies will be essential to substantially reduce this number and to eventually completely avoid crashes in the future. In 2007, VCC launched Vision 2020. This Vision states that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020. Crash avoidance and active safety technologies are essential to reach our goal. These features which include systems that assist the driver or automatically act in order to prevent or mitigate crashes (such as automatic emergency braking systems, lane departure warning systems, pedestrian detection, and braking systems) are the precursors for self-driving cars. Numerous studies of real-world crash performance data in the US and abroad show the effectiveness of these active safety systems in reducing injuries and fatalities. These technologies will continue to be developed and they will become even more effective over time. So VCC strongly supports the NTSB June, 2015, recommendation that the US New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) include crash avoidance technologies in the 5-star safety rating scale. The USA is way behind all other major countries who already include these life-saving technologies in the overall consumer rating. With regard to the two NTSB recommendations for manufacturers of vehicles with level 2 vehicle automation systems, Volvo Cars supports the intent of these recommendations. See below: 1) Incorporate system safeguards that limit the use of automated vehicle control systems to those conditions for which they were designed. (H-17-41). Volvo Cars pilot assist adheres to this recommendation and the system only perform in the conditions for which they were designed. 2) Develop applications to more effectively sense the driver's level of engagement and alert the driver when engagement is lacking while automated vehicle control systems are in use. (H-17-42) Volvo Cars pilot assist adheres to this recommendation and our systems alert the driver when engagement is lacking. VCC would like to clarify how our pilot assist system works and would like to invite the NTSB to demo the system. The VCC pilot assist system is an active safety support function that combines steering with Adaptive Cruise Control and braking. Simply put it is lane centering support plus adaptive cruise control. It is very important to note that the system is designed as an assistance system. The driver is in control and the system gives assistance and complimentary support to the driver. It helps the operator keep within his lane and stay a safe distance and speed from the vehicle in front of it. However, the driver is expected to actively participate in the driving and remains responsible for monitoring and supervision over the entire operation of the vehicle. It also is important to emphasize that VCC systems are restricted in how much acceleration, braking and steering force can be applied. The driver is always responsible for maintaining their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road when using these features. If a driver's hands are not on the steering wheel, a warning is given to the driver to grasp the steering wheel. If the driver does not respond to the warning, an additional warning is provided with an audible alert. If the driver still does not respond, the system disengages. This functionality is specifically designed to prevent the driver from becoming overly reliant on the system. VCC's ambition is to provide our customers accurate, descriptive and easy-tounderstand information of driver support functionality to increase the driver's understanding and acceptance of function behavior & performance, function limitations, and driver responsibilities. If you have any additional questions or need further assistance, please do not hesitate contact us.

From: NTSB
To: Volvo Cars of North America, Inc.
Date: 11/13/2017
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notice of public availability and request for comments concerning the guidance document “Automated Driving Systems: A Vision for Safety,” published at 82 Federal Register 178, September 15, 2017. As a result of the Williston crash investigation, the NTSB issued multiple safety recommendations addressing the need to incorporate system safeguards to limit the use of automated vehicle control systems to those conditions for which they were designed. The NTSB also recommended that both the US Department of Transportation and NHTSA define the data parameters that must be recorded by vehicles operating with automated control systems of any level. We further recommended the establishment of reporting requirements for automated vehicles addressing incidents, crashes, and vehicle miles traveled with automated systems enabled. Finally, the NTSB recommended that manufacturers of Level 2 automated vehicle systems incorporate safeguards to limit system operations to their intended domains, and develop more effective applications to sense the driver’s degree of engagement with the driving task.

From: NTSB
To: Volvo Cars of North America, Inc.
Date: 9/28/2017
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. We determine the probable cause of the accidents and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, we carry out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinate the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. 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 two issued to Volvo Group North America, which can be found on page 43 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.