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New NHTSA AV crash reporting standards will improve safety, accountability

Washington, DC — Today, NHTSA ordered autonomous vehicle manufacturers and operators to report crash data to the federal government. Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement:

“As autonomous technology is tested and deployed on American roads, transportation labor has long called for safety to be prioritized, including data collection and transparency requirements for all levels of automated vehicles. By holding autonomous vehicle manufacturers and operators accountable, today’s order from NHTSA is an important step towards meeting those calls.

“As we have already seen, the introduction of any new technology, including autonomous vehicles, comes with great risk when not correctly regulated. Already, NHTSA has opened investigations into 27 Tesla crashes, including 11 deaths that have been linked to Tesla’s autopilot features. By collecting data from crashes where driver assistance and driverless systems were in use, NHTSA will have the ability to quickly identify and respond to safety issues related to these new technologies — a significant departure in policy from the Trump administration’s hands-off treatment of AVs.

“While TTD and our affiliated unions will continue to push federal regulators to create a larger safety- and job-protection framework for the regulation of automated technologies, we thank the administration for taking steps to ensure AVs are held to the high safety standards and accountability that come with federal oversight.”