Federal regulators are stepping up their oversight of car accidents involving advanced driver assistance or automated driving features, a change that follows growing concern about the role systems like Tesla Inc.’s autopilot have played in accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a new order Tuesday that companies must report serious accidents involving automated driving and driver assistance systems to authorities within a day of learning about them. Manufacturers and operators will also need to issue more comprehensive monthly reports on the safety of their vehicles.
“The data collection will help inspire public confidence that the federal government is closely monitoring the safety of automated vehicles,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator Steven Cliff.
The data will help investigators track patterns in automated driving crashes, the agency said.
The order applies to simpler driver assistance functions that are already relatively common, as well as more automated systems that are just beginning to gain wider adoption. The technology under scrutiny includes lane-keeping assist and cruise control systems that maintain a fixed distance behind a leading car, as well as high-tech systems such as features offered by Tesla that can guide a car down roads with minimal driver intervention.