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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-08-015
Details
Synopsis: About 7:30 p.m. on October 15, 2005, a 22-year-old truck driver departed Munster, Indiana, on an approximately 436-mile-long trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota, driving a truck-tractor semitrailer operated by Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Whole Foods). By 1:58 a.m., the truck driver had completed about 323 miles of his trip. The combination unit was traveling westbound on I-94 near milepost 85, at a police-estimated speed of 63 to 69 mph, when the unit departed the right-hand travel lane and paved shoulder at an approximate 3-degree angle. The unit left the roadway and entered the earthen, sloped roadside. The driver steered to the left, and the combination unit reentered the pavement and overturned onto its right side, sliding to a stop so that it blocked both westbound lanes and shoulders of I-94. The truck driver said that following the overturn, he turned off the ignition and was then thrown into the sleeper berth area by another impact.
Recommendation: TO THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION: Determine whether equipping commercial vehicles with collision warning systems with active braking and electronic stability control systems will reduce commercial vehicle accidents. If these technologies are determined to be effective in reducing accidents, require their use on commercial vehicles.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Osseo, WI, United States
Is Reiterated: Yes
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: HWY06MH003
Accident Reports: Truck-Tractor Semitrailer Rollover and Motorcoach Collision With Overturned Truck Interstate Highway 94
Report #: HAR-08-02
Accident Date: 10/16/2005
Issue Date: 2/2/2009
Date Closed: 6/8/2015
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: NHTSA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Stability,

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. In 2008, the NTSB made a recommendation to NHTSA to determine the potential benefits of crash imminent (autonomous emergency) braking technologies in commercial vehicles and, if they are deemed to be effective, to require their use on new commercial vehicles (Safety Recommendation H-08-15). The research conducted by NHTSA and others has shown the considerable potential of these systems to prevent crashes, in both passenger and commercial vehicles. While we believe that crash imminent braking technology should be mandatory equipment for all new vehicles, its provision is not yet required; therefore, in May 2015, the NTSB recommended that both passenger and commercial vehicle manufacturers install these technologies as standard equipment (Safety Recommendations H-15-8 and -9). The NTSB has expressed its support of crash imminent braking technologies in its comments on the proposed rulemaking regarding the inclusion of these systems as recommended technologies in NCAP (Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0006). Although the NTSB supports the proposed testing procedures for crash imminent braking, we urge NHTSA to consider expanding the velocity parameters used in the testing procedures to make them more consistent with those used by NCAP authorities around the world, such as Euro NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 6/8/2015
Response: Safety Recommendation H-08-015 was classified CLOSED--UNACCEPTABLE ACTION in the NTSB's special investigative report "The Use of Forward Collision Avoidance Systems to Prevent and Mitigate Rear-End Crashes." (SIR-15-01, PB2015-104098, Notation 8638, adopted May 19, 2015, published June 8, 2015) The NTSB is disappointed with the lack of progress in the development of performance standards and assessment protocols for forward CAS in commercial vehicles. This lack of progress, however, should not preclude the use of such systems in these vehicle types. Currently available CWS and AEB provide clear benefits, meriting a consideration for their deployment, even without the existence of published performance standards. While the NTSB acknowledges the initial steps NHTSA has taken in the development of performance standards for AEB in heavy trucks, progress has been slow. Performance standards and assessment protocols would further advance these technologies, partly by allowing comparisons between systems. The NTSB, therefore, concludes that performance standards and protocols for the assessment of forward CAS in commercial vehicles would provide an impetus for the advancement of the systems and speed their deployment in commercial fleets. Because of the lack of finalized performance requirements, standards, and testing procedures, the NTSB recommends that NHTSA complete, as soon as possible, the development and application of performance standards and protocols for the assessment of forward CAS in commercial vehicles. Due to the insufficient progress on NTSB’s recommendations pertaining to the development of performance standards for CWS in commercial vehicles, and the new recommendations issued in this report instructing NHTSA to develop performance standards and assessment protocols for forward CAS, Safety Recommendation H-01-6 is classified “Closed—Unacceptable Action/Superseded” (superseded by new Safety Recommendation H-15-5). Furthermore, due to NHTSA’s lack of progress in requiring CWS on new commercial vehicles, Safety Recommendation H-01-7 is classified “Closed—Unacceptable Action.” The 2008 recommendation to NHTSA pertaining to AEB in commercial vehicles (H-08-15) also merits reconsideration. In this report, the NTSB addressed the first half of this recommendation, which asked NHTSA to determine whether adding AEB and ESC to CWS-equipped vehicles would reduce commercial vehicle accidents. The research findings show that equipping commercial vehicles with AEB and ESC would be an effective countermeasure in reducing the frequency of rear-end collisions or mitigating their severity. Due to NHTSA’s lack of progress on this recommendation and the reiterated recommendation to install ESC in new commercial vehicles, Safety Recommendation H-08-15 is classified CLOSED--UNACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 10/16/2014
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM), entitled “Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards: Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Communications,” published at 79 Federal Register 161 on August 20, 2014. NHTSA proposes to create a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS), FMVSS No. 150 that would: (1) require V2V communications capability for new passenger vehicles and light trucks and (2) create minimum performance requirements for V2V devices and messages. NHTSA believes this standard would facilitate the development and introduction of advanced vehicle safety applications. While the NTSB appreciates the intent of the proposed rulemaking, we believe the standard should be expanded to include all highway vehicles. Additionally, NHTSA should do more to promote what the ANPRM refers to as “vehicle-resident” safety systems, which are best poised to facilitate future integration with V2V technology, and address the limitations of V2V technology in the initial stages of deployment. Vehicle-resident safety systems. NHTSA acknowledges the benefits of vehicle-resident safety systems in this ANPRM and seeks comments pertaining to their future role in traffic safety, particularly in connection with V2V technology. We have a long history of advocating vehicle-resident safety systems and have issued 12 safety recommendations requiring vehicle manufacturers and regulatory agencies to conduct more research related to their benefits, train drivers on their use, establish performance standards, and require these systems on all new vehicles. As a result of investigating several accidents in which dozens of people were killed and seriously injured, we issued the following safety recommendations to NHTSA: H-01-06 Complete rulemaking on adaptive cruise control and collision warning system performance standards for new commercial vehicles. At a minimum, these standards should address obstacle detection distance, timing of alerts, and human factors guidelines, such as the mode and type of warning. H-01-07 After promulgating performance standards for collision warning systems for commercial vehicles, require that all new commercial vehicles be equipped with a collision warning system. H-01-08 Complete rulemaking on adaptive cruise control and collision warning system performance standards for new passenger cars. At a minimum, these standards should address obstacle detection distance, timing of alerts, and human factors guidelines, such as the mode and type of warning. H-08-15 Determine whether equipping commercial vehicles with collision warning systems with active braking and electronic stability control systems will reduce commercial vehicle accidents. If these technologies are determined to be effective in reducing accidents, require their use on commercial vehicles. These recommendations have remained open and have been reiterated multiple times in subsequent accident reports. NHTSA expressed several concerns in this ANPRM regarding different safety applications of V2V and vehicle-resident technologies, and the extent to which these technologies can coexist or hinder the other’s advancement. We do not view V2V as a safety technology that competes with vehicle-resident systems, but rather it is another method of providing safety critical information. Two points expressed in this ANPRM are particularly relevant to this issue: • The safety benefits of V2V are likely to be very different in the initial stages of V2V deployment when a small proportion of vehicles would be connected; it would take 15 20 years following the initial deployment before most vehicles on the road are connected. • Human factors research regarding warnings would be applicable, regardless whether the information source is V2V or a vehicle-resident safety system. NHTSA acknowledges that it could take two decades following the initial deployment before the extensive safety benefits of V2V technology would be attained. This leaves a considerable safety gap that should be addressed by current vehicle-resident technology. NHTSA also acknowledges the limited safety benefits of V2V in the initial stages of deployment; the most important limitation is that it would not detect nonconnected vehicles. Vehicle-resident safety systems would address both of these issues. Vehicle-resident safety systems would be invaluable during the early stages of V2V deployment when only a small proportion of vehicles would be connected. Until a level of market saturation is reached, drivers of V2V-equipped vehicles cannot rely on the technology to alert them to conflicts because these vehicles will only be able to connect to a small population of vehicles in use on the highways. A safety system that frequently fails to detect a conflict (even if such a limitation is by design) could easily become an unreliable system in the eyes of the driver. However, a vehicle equipped with both V2V and vehicle-resident safety systems would be able to alert drivers to a larger number of conflicts, even during the early stages of V2V deployment, increasing driver trust in the systems as a whole. In this regard, vehicle-resident safety systems would serve two functions: (1) they would fill the safety gap before the maturation of V2V technology, as these systems can prevent collisions and save lives today; and (2) they would serve as a platform onto which V2V technology would be added. The interface that is part of vehicle-resident systems that warn a driver or apply autonomous emergency braking could also be used by V2V technology. Because vehicle-resident safety systems would see immediate safety benefits and be poised to assume future integration with V2V technology, we believe that the safety benefits of V2V technology would be greater when installed on vehicles equipped with vehicle-resident safety systems and that NHTSA should do more to aid the promotion of vehicle-resident safety systems.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 5/28/2013
Response: Notation 8491: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which was published at 78 Federal Register 21320 (April 10, 2013). The proposed rule would revise Part 15 of the Commission’s rules to permit operation of Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices within the 5 gigahertz (GHz) band. The 5 GHz band, specifically the frequency band between 5.850 and 5.925 GHz, serves as the platform for connected vehicle technologies essential to the advancement of transportation safety. Connected vehicle technologies that rely on Dedicated Short Range Communications Service (DSRCS) systems are operating in the Intelligent Transportation Service (ITS) allocation on the 5 GHz band. Careful attention to interference risk is essential when considering permitting spectrum sharing, as proposed in this NPRM. Since the mid-1990s, the NTSB has advocated intelligent vehicle technologies that rely on radar, vehicle-to-vehicle, or vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. Such technologies include collision warning and collision avoidance systems. The NTSB first addressed collision avoidance during its investigation of a 1995 multivehicle collision in Menifee, Arkansas,1 in which a commercial vehicle entered dense fog, slowed from 65 mph to between 35 and 40 mph, and was then struck from behind. Subsequent collisions occurred as vehicles drove into the wreckage. This accident, which involved eight loaded truck-tractor semitrailer combination units, resulted in five fatalities. Even then, before today’s wirelessly connected world existed, the need to establish dedicated communication airwaves for technologies that could prevent such collisions was recognized. As a result of the Menifee accident, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendation H-95-46 to the FCC, which states as follows: H-95-46 Expedite rulemaking action on the allocation of frequencies that would enhance the development possibilities of collision warning systems. The FCC successfully allocated spectrum for collision avoidance systems, and Safety Recommendation H-95-46 was classified “Closed—Acceptable Action” in 1999. The NTSB is concerned that the proposed rulemaking for spectrum sharing may compromise this necessary spectrum allocation for collision avoidance systems, by increasing the potential for dangerous interference. Since the closure of Safety Recommendation H-95-46, the NTSB has issued several additional safety recommendations concerning technologies that rely on wireless communication in the frequency band established by the FCC in response to Safety Recommendation H-95-46. These include recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to research, establish performance standards for, and then require, advanced collision avoidance safety technologies on passenger and commercial vehicles. The NTSB issued the following recommendations as a result of investigations into accidents that killed or injured dozens of people. To the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: H-01-6 Complete rulemaking on adaptive cruise control and collision warning system performance standards for new commercial vehicles. At a minimum, these standards should address obstacle detection distance, timing of alerts, and human factors guidelines, such as the mode and type of warning. H-01-7 After promulgating performance standards for collision warning systems for commercial vehicles, require that all new commercial vehicles be equipped with a collision warning system. 2 (a) National Transportation Safety Board, Vehicle- and Infrastructure-based Technology for the Prevention of Rear-End Collisions, SIR-01/01 (Washington, DC: National Transportation Safety Board, 2001). (b) National Transportation Safety Board, Truck-Tractor Semitrailer Rear-End Collision into Passenger Vehicles on Interstate 44, Near Miami, Oklahoma, June 26, 2009, HAR-10/02 (Washington, DC: National Transportation Safety Board, 2010). H-01-8 Complete rulemaking on adaptive cruise control and collision warning system performance standards for new passenger cars. At a minimum, these standards should address obstacle detection distance, timing of alerts, and human factors guidelines, such as the mode and type of warning. H-08-15 Determine whether equipping commercial vehicles with collision warning systems with active braking and electronic stability control systems will reduce commercial vehicle accidents. If these technologies are determined to be effective in reducing accidents, require their use on commercial vehicles. These recommendations to NHTSA have been repeatedly reiterated as a result of more recent investigations in which we have seen fatalities and injuries as a consequence of the absence of such accident-prevention technology. These systems have advanced over the years since the NTSB began advocating their development, standardization, and inclusion in modern vehicles. The US Department of Transportation has sponsored voluntary standards, conducted cost-benefit analyses, and begun fleet operational testing. NHTSA analyses show that DSRCS-based connected vehicle technology could address approximately 80 percent of the crash scenarios involving non-impaired drivers.4 Given the progress that has been made by government and industry leaders in this area, such an outcome is a realistic possibility. The NTSB believes that all newly manufactured automobiles and commercial motor vehicles should be equipped with these crucial lifesaving technologies and has made “Mandate Motor Vehicle Collision Avoidance Technologies” a priority on our current Most Wanted List. The implementation of this technological opportunity to improve transportation safety so significantly must not be compromised by issues associated with interference on the 5 GHz band. The NTSB is not opposed to spectrum sharing in principle, but the security of preestablished communication frequencies related to transportation safety must first be ensured. Spectrum sharing could put the frequencies at risk of dangerous interference, and much is still unknown about frequency interference when it comes to vast numbers of connected vehicles in motion. A single incident like the case of interference encountered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with its Doppler radar could stall progress and cause concern within the industry—or even result in accidents, once these systems are deployed. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is beginning its evaluation process to test the use of UNII devices on the 5 GHz band. The NTIA 5 GHz report, cited in the subject NPRM, identifies a number of risk elements associated with the likelihood of harmful interference from large numbers of U-NII devices and concludes that further analysis will be required to determine how the identified risk factors can be mitigated. Such analysis should be conducted before safety-sensitive frequencies are opened up to UNII devices. Yet, the need for such analysis will likely delay the widespread deployment of these much-needed safety systems. The NTSB appreciates the opportunity to provide these comments. Given our long history of advocating for collision avoidance technologies, the NTSB is very concerned that the development of these technologies—potentially saving thousands of lives each year—would be put at risk. Consequently, we urge the FCC to ensure that potential delays to the development of the collision avoidance development are considered before UNII devices are allowed to operate in the 5 GHz band and that the key elements of the transportation safety systems that communicate on the same frequency are adequately and reliably protected.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 2/4/2013
Response: We are pleased that NHTSA also believes that CWS has the potential for safety benefits in both commercial and passenger vehicle settings. We recognize the efforts that your agency has made to study the effectiveness of available systems and to develop New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) criteria for the passenger vehicle fleet. We are encouraged by the ever increasing percentage of passenger vehicles that are voluntarily equipped with CWS by industry. This is a positive trend that continues to improve safety on our nation’s highways and helps to educate consumers about the safety benefits of these systems. Despite this progress, we are disappointed that, 12 years after Safety Recommendations H 01-6 through -8 were issued, NHTSA has not yet promulgated the recommended rulemaking to require performance standards and the installation of CWS that meets those standards in all new vehicles. The intent of our recommendations was to establish and require a standard format for CWS, including consideration of ACC, which offers consistent usability for operators and takes into account human performance factors. This intent was expressed in one comprehensive recommendation for the passenger vehicle fleet and in two recommendations for the commercial fleet. In 2008, we recommended that NHTSA evaluate the additional benefit of ESC and active braking systems for those commercial vehicles already equipped with CWS. NHTSA has moved forward with proposed rulemaking on ESC and research on active braking. While the NTSB is encouraged that NHTSA is working on these technologies independently, we urge the agency to link them to the larger CWS issue and include these technologies when requiring the recommended CWS performance standards and implementation. The NTSB remains frustrated by the very slow progress NHTSA is making in its efforts to evaluate CWS and by the lack of rulemaking to require CWS for both the commercial and passenger vehicle fleets. In light of this very slow pace, pending action that addresses the intent of Safety Recommendations H-01-6 through 8, the recommendations remain classified “Open?Unacceptable Response.” We note that progress has been made toward the evaluation of the additional technologies recommended in Safety Recommendation H-08-15; accordingly, this recommendation is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE. As we have prioritized this issue by placing it on our Most Wanted List, we urge NHTSA also to prioritize its work on CWS and move forward with the recommended requirements.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 9/12/2012
Response: Notation 8433: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) notice requesting comments on its research concerning advanced braking technologies that rely on forward-looking sensors, which was published at 77 Federal Register 39561 on July 3, 2012. The NTSB agrees with NHTSA’s assessment that advanced braking technologies show promise for enhancing vehicle safety by helping drivers avoid or mitigate the severity of crashes. Since the mid-1990s, the NTSB has advocated this technology, and this letter summarizes our associated accident investigations, discusses open recommendations, and provides brief comments regarding the development of test protocols. To clarify the terminology being used in our comments, it should be noted that the NTSB’s open safety recommendations in this area use “collision warning systems,” “adaptive cruise control,” and “active braking,” as key technical terms. Technological developments have led to additional terms for describing collision avoidance systems, such as forward collision warning, dynamic brake support, and collision imminent braking. Regardless of their names, these safety systems all rely on forward-look-ahead technologies, enabling progressive warnings, and—in some systems—causing vehicle deceleration to avoid or mitigate a collision using the advanced braking technologies discussed in this request for comments. The NTSB first addressed collision warning technology as a major safety issue during its investigation of a 1995 multivehicle collision in Menifee, Arkansas, in which a commercial vehicle entered dense fog, slowed from 65 mph to between 35 and 40 mph, and was then struck from behind. Subsequent collisions occurred as vehicles drove into the wreckage. The accident, which involved eight loaded truck-tractor semitrailer combination units, resulted in five fatalities. In 2001, the NTSB conducted a special investigation of 9 rear-end accidents that killed 20 people and injured 181. In its investigation, the NTSB explored both vehicle- and infrastructure-based technologies for the prevention of rear-end collisions and discussed the challenges of implementation, consumer acceptance, public perception, and training associated with the deployment of such systems. As a result, the NTSB issued the following safety recommendations to NHTSA: H-01-6 Complete rulemaking on adaptive cruise control and collision warning system performance standards for new commercial vehicles. At a minimum, these standards should address obstacle detection distance, timing of alerts, and human factors guidelines, such as the mode and type of warning. H-01-7 After promulgating performance standards for collision warning systems for commercial vehicles, require that all new commercial vehicles be equipped with a collision warning system. H-01-8 Complete rulemaking on adaptive cruise control and collision warning system performance standards for new passenger cars. At a minimum, these standards should address obstacle detection distance, timing of alerts, and human factors guidelines, such as the mode and type of warning. The NTSB reiterated Safety Recommendations H-01-6 and -7 to NHTSA, following a 2003 multivehicle collision that occurred on an approach to a toll plaza near Hampshire, Illinois, resulting in eight fatalities. The NTSB again reiterated these recommendations following its investigation of a 2005 accident involving the rollover of a truck-tractor semitrailer combination unit that came to rest blocking both lanes of a dark interstate near Osseo, Wisconsin. In the Osseo accident, the resting combination unit was subsequently struck by a motorcoach transporting a high school marching band, resulting in the deaths of the motorcoach driver and four motorcoach passengers. As a result of its investigation, the NTSB found that insufficient visual cues were present for the motorcoach driver to identify the truck wreckage in time to avoid the collision, concluding, “A collision warning system with active braking might have prevented, or at least lessened the severity of, the motorcoach’s impact with the overturned truck.” In addition, the NTSB also issued another safety recommendation to NHTSA regarding collision warning systems: H-08-15 Determine whether equipping commercial vehicles with collision warning systems with active braking and electronic stability control systems will reduce commercial vehicle accidents. If these technologies are determined to be effective in reducing accidents, require their use on commercial vehicles. The NTSB revisited collision avoidance systems in its investigation of a 2009 accident involving a truck-tractor semitrailer combination unit that rear-ended and overrode slow-moving and stopped passenger cars in a traffic queue, near Miami, Oklahoma. The truck collided with the passenger cars at a high rate of speed without braking, or taking any evasive maneuver, resulting in 10 passenger car occupant fatalities. The NTSB concluded as a result of its investigation that “A forward collision warning system with adaptive cruise control and active braking would have provided the driver with the best opportunity to prevent, or reduce the severity of, the truck-tractor semitrailer’s impact with the passenger vehicles in the traffic queue.” As a result of its investigation, the NTSB reiterated Safety Recommendation H-08-15 and reiterated and reclassified Safety Recommendations H 01 6 and -7 “Open—Unacceptable Response,” due to the lack of timely action to implement this recommendation. Safety Recommendations H-01-6 and -7 were once again reiterated, and Safety Recommendations H-01-8 and H-08-15 were reiterated and reclassified “Open—Unacceptable Response,” after the NTSB’s investigation of a 2010 multivehicle collision involving a commercial vehicle, a passenger vehicle, and two school buses in a traffic queue in Gray Summit, Missouri, that resulted in two fatalities. The reiteration of these recommendations was the result of our findings that forward collision warning systems on the two accident buses—and possibly on the passenger vehicle—could have prevented the accident, or at least mitigated its severity. During the 17 years since NTSB began advocating the use of collision avoidance technologies, these technologies have advanced, and although the U.S. Department of Transportation has sponsored voluntary standards, fleet operational testing, and cost-benefit analyses for collision warning systems and adaptive cruise control, with and without braking, there is still no requirement for these technologies. The manufacturers of these safety systems, which are now widely available on commercial and passenger vehicles, have begun to integrate forward-looking sensors, along with cameras, enabling them to intervene and slow a vehicle without driver input. The NTSB believes that it is long overdue for NHTSA to move forward on rulemaking that will mandate these important lifesaving technologies on all newly manufactured vehicles. The NTSB is aware that research is also being conducted on intelligent vehicle systems, such as vehicle to vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies, which could accomplish similar goals to those addressed by collision avoidance technologies. However, since research into these areas has just advanced as far as the collision avoidance area, the NTSB hopes that the exploration of new technology does not hinder rulemaking on already established technologies. Your notice also sought comment regarding false positive brake applications, operational speeds, and system suppressions of advanced braking technologies. The NTSB believes that false positive, or unwarranted, activation of a vehicle’s brakes could not only be dangerous, but also undermine confidence in these systems. We are pleased to see that NHTSA is engaging manufacturers in a discussion of whether false positive activations should be included in the test protocol. The NTSB is also encouraged that NHTSA is exploring a variety of operational speeds and possible system suppression, or deactivation, scenarios; however, we would like to emphasize that it is important to include the largest possible operational speed range and least number of system suppressions in the development test protocol to achieve the greatest reduction in vehicle accidents. The NTSB hopes that accidents, such as those discussed in this letter, can one day be prevented for commercial and passenger vehicles alike. To accomplish this, advanced braking systems must be able to detect and activate under the variety of conditions seen by the NTSB in its accident investigations: inclement weather and fog (Menifee, Arkansas), stationary objects (Osseo, Wisconsin), and slow-moving and stopped traffic (Miami, Oklahoma; Hampshire, Illinois; and Gray Summit, Missouri). The NTSB appreciates the opportunity to provide these comments. Given our long history of advocating the study and implementation of collision warning and crash avoidance technologies, such as advanced braking, we are pleased to see that steps are finally being taken toward a well-thought-out rulemaking in this area.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 8/9/2012
Response: Notation 8429: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 136, Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles, as published in Volume 77 of the Federal Register on May 23, 2012. The proposed rule would require truck tractors and certain buses with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) over 26,000 pounds to be equipped with an electronic stability control (ESC) system meeting specified equipment and performance criteria. The NTSB has long advocated the study and implementation of crash avoidance technologies, such as ESC, to assist drivers in maintaining control of commercial motor vehicles. As a result of our investigation of a multivehicle collision in Slinger, Wisconsin, in February 1997, the NTSB recommended that NHTSA conduct research to evaluate the benefits of adding traction control devices to antilock brake systems (H-98-9). Based on NHTSA research for the current rulemaking effort, the NTSB classified this recommendation "Closed-Acceptable Action" in January 2012. In the investigation of a seven-fatal mid-size bus rollover accident in Dolan Springs, Arizona, in January 2009, the NTSB addressed the benefits of equipping buses with a GVWR greater than 10,000 pounds with stability control systems and issued Safety Recommendations H -10-5 and -6 to NHTSA: Develop stability control .system performance standard) applicahle to newly manufactured buses with a gross vehicle weight rating above 10, 000 pounds. (H-10-5) Once the performance standards from Safety Recommendation H-10-5 have been developed, require the installation of stability control systems in all newly manufactured buses in which this technology could have a safety benefit. (H-10-6) Upon completion of another commercial vehicle rollover accident investigation-in Indianapolis, Indiana, in October 2009, involving the rollover of a cargo tank trailer carrying liquefied petroleum gas and a subsequent fire3-the NTSB closed Safety Recommendations H-10-5 and -6 and issued superseding and broader Safety Recommendations H-11-7 and -8 to NHTSA: Develop stability control system performance standards for all commercial motor vehicles and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10, 000 pounds, regardless of whether the vehicles are equipped with a hydraulic or a pneumatic brake system. (H-11-7) Once the performance standards from Safety Recommendation H-II-7 have been developed, require the installation of stability control systems on all newly manufactured commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10, 000 pounds. (H-11-8) In the Indianapolis investigation, the NTSB also concluded that a retrofit for stability control systems would be advantageous given the long service life of cargo tank trailers and the potential safety risks posed by the hazardous materials they typically transport. And, because roll stability control (RSC) systems do not require the same integrated sensors and communication systems as ESC, making them more feasible to install as a retrofit, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendation H-11-3 to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: Require all in-use cargo tank trailers with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10, 000 pounds to be retrofitted with a rollover stability control system. (H-1l-3) The proposed rule has assessed the benefits of ESC versus RSC systems, acknowledging that RSC systems lack the ability to affect the directional control of a vehicle in situations of potential rollover. The NTSB agrees with NHTSA that there are additional benefits of ESC over RSC and applauds the research and testing that NHTSA conducted to come to this conclusion. Although NHTSA found that RSC on trailers would save fewer than 10 lives per year and would not be cost beneficial, the NTSB stands by Safety Recommendation H-1l-3 for cargo tank trailers to be retrofitted with RSC systems due to the high potential they hold for catastrophic damage and loss of life in the event of a hazardous materials release. The NTSB recognizes that FMVSS No.l26 requires ESC systems to be in place on light vehicles, and the proposed rulemaking extends the requirement for ESC systems to a large number of heavy vehicles. However, between the upper bounds of FMVSS No. 126, a GVWR of 10,000 pounds, and the lower bounds of the proposed FMVSS No.136, a GVWR of 26,000 pounds, there is a gap where stability control systems will not be required. A vehicle type within this gap that is of particular interest to the NTSB is mid-size buses. The Dolan Springs bus, a mid-size bus with a GVWR of 19,500 pounds, would not be covered in the proposed ESC rulemaking. During its Dolan Springs investigation, the NTSB estimated that the production volume of mid-size buses was 11,600 units per year, on average. Mid-size buses, which are used to transport groups of 16-40 people, should be held to the same--if not higher standards than vehicles used to transport cargo. Mid-size buses also have higher centers of gravity than many other passenger-carrying vehicles, making them more prone to rollover, and therefore more likely to benefit from rollover prevention technologies. The proposed rule also does not address ESC systems for other types of buses, and instead proposes exemptions for buses with fewer than 16 seating positions, buses with limited forward-facing seating configurations (such as limo-buses), urban transit buses, and school buses. We understand that certain exemptions to the rule may be required for slow-moving or specialty vehicles, but when it comes to vehicles that transport people, especially children, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to be as far-reaching as possible when implementing life-saving safety technologies such as ESC. The proposed rule also excludes medium-duty and single-unit trucks, which could benefit from stability control systems. As pointed out in the proposed rulemaking, a safety benefit study applicable to such commercial vehicles is underway, and ESC systems are still in development for medium-duty trucks and buses equipped with hydraulic brakes. The NTSB is pleased to see that steps are underway to equip the largest populations within the commercial vehicle fleet with stability control systems without waiting for their availability on all types of vehicles, but we will continue to advocate that this safety technology be universal. As recognized in the proposed rule, the NTSB has also issued safety recommendations on collision warning with active braking and adaptive cruise control systems, for which ESC systems are required as a baseline technology to enable vehicle braking without driver input. In 2001, the NTSB published a Special Investigation Report of nine rear-end accidents in which 20 people died and 181 were injured,5 and issued Safety Recommendations H-01-6 and -7 to NHTSA: Complete rule making on adaptive cruise control and collision warning system performance standards for new commercial vehicles. At a minimum, these standards should address obstacle detection distance, timing of alerts, and human factors guidelines, such as the mode and type of warning. (H-01-6) After promulgating performance standards for collision warning systems for commercial vehicles, require that all new commercial vehicles be equipped with a collision warning system. (H-Ol-7) At the conclusion of the investigation of an October 2005 accident near Osseo, Wisconsin-involving the rollover of a truck-tractor semitrailer combination unit, which was subsequently struck by a motorcoach-in which 5 people died and 36 were injured,6 the NTSB reiterated Safety Recommendations H-0l-6 and -7 and issued Safety Recommendation H-08-15 to NHTSA: Determine whether equipping commercial vehicles with collision warning systems with active braking and electronic stability control systems will reduce commercial vehicle accidents. If these technologies are determined to be effective in reducing accidents, require their use on commercial vehicles. (H-08-15) We believe that the advancement of crash avoidance and mitigation technologies is dependent on equipping the entire commercial vehicle population with ESC. The NTSB understands that ESC alone cannot prevent all accidents and that conditions such as aggressive steering inputs, excessive speed, and shifting loads limit its effectiveness. For this reason, we encourage NHSTA to not only continue moving forward on accident prevention technologies, but also to develop rollover performance standards to ensure that the static rollover stability of commercial vehicles is considered and optimized in the design and manufacturing stages. The NTSB appreciates the opportunity to comment on this notice. Although we are encouraged by the proposed rulemaking and its effect on a large population of commercial motor vehicles, our open safety recommendations to NHTSA with regard to stability control systems include all commercial motor vehicles and buses with a GVWR greater than 10,000 pounds. Well-designed technology can improve driver performance and overall highway safety, and we will continue to support the development and requirement of such systems until a universal level of safety is realized.

From: NHTSA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/10/2012
Response: -From David L. Strickland, Administrator: Electronic Stability Control (ESC): After extensive research, NHTSA has determined that ESC systems have the potential to mitigate rollover and loss of control crashes. We recently issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on May 23, 2012, to require ESC on truck tractors and large buses with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) over 26,000 lbs. The agency is accepting comments on the proposal until August 21, 2012 and plans to hold a public hearing on July 24, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. We will publish details of this public meeting in the Federal Register, and would welcome NTSB's attendance as well as comments to the public docket. NHTSA continues to conduct research on commercial vehicles that are between 10,000 lbs. and 26,000 lbs., GVWR. We have tested multiple class 3-8 straight unit trucks with varying brake configurations. We are currently drafting a report to summarize these results and will share that with you upon completion. This year we will be testing a class 8 single unit truck configured as a tanker and equipped with ESC. Unfortunately, only a limited number of class 3-5 trucks are available with ESC and recent market research indicated that there are no small buses equipped with ESC. Thus, we have not tested small buses. We will continue this work and make an agency decision regarding next steps in 2013. Given our activity with respect to stability control systems for vehicles over 10,000 lbs. GVWR, we believe this portion of the recommendation is being fulfilled. Collision Mitigation Systems: As stated above in response to H-01-6 and H- 01-7, NHTSA has expanded its research on collision warning systems that incorporate active braking. These systems not only provide the functionality of FCW, but they also initiate braking prior to a reaction from the driver. To reiterate, we expect to complete this work by 2013 and will provide an update to NTSB at that time. Recommendation H-08-15 requires NHTSA to determine if equipping commercial vehicles with collision warning systems with active braking would reduce crashes and, if so, require this technology on vehicles. NHTSA is actively conducting such research and will make an appropriate determination about rulemaking. Thus, this portion of the recommendation is being fulfilled. Additionally, NHTSA determined that ESC provided significant safety benefit on heavy vehicles over 26,000 lbs., and has initiated rulemaking to require the technology. As such, this portion of the recommendation has been completed. We request that the status of H -08-15 be changed to "Open - Acceptable Response."

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 4/24/2012
Response: Notation 8403: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notice of proposed federal guidelines, "Visual-Manual NHTSA Driver Distraction Guidelines for In-Vehicle Electronic Devices" (proposed guidelines), which was published at 77 Federal Register 11200 (February 24, 2012). The nonbinding, voluntary guidelines represent one component of NHTSA's Driver Distraction Program, and are a useful step toward addressing the problem of driver distraction. Specifically, NHTSA is proposing a long-term, phased approach, through the issuance of guidelines to address the distraction potential of in-vehicle and portable electronic devices (PED). This initial proposal only addresses guidelines for the first of three planned phases and concerns the visual-manual interface of devices installed in vehicles as original equipment. The second phase will include PEDs and aftermarket devices, and the third phase will expand the guidelines to include auditory-vocal interfaces. The NTSB supports NHTSA's efforts to promote attentive driving but is concerned about the rapid migration of potentially distracting navigation, communications, and information and entertainment systems into vehicles. Issuing guidelines is one important step of many necessary to ensure appropriate safety oversight of the design and use of in-vehicle systems, aftermarket devices, and PEDs-which can distract drivers from the critical task of safely operating a motor vehicle. The following are suggestions for NHTSA to maximize the effectiveness of these guidelines. They discuss NHTSA's underemphasis of the cognitive component of operating in-vehicle information systems, the need to record data about in-vehicle communication system use in the event of crashes, the importance of moving quickly toward requiring collision avoidance technologies on all vehicles, and the need to evaluate in-vehicle technologies in large commercial vehicles. Background On March 27, 2012, the NTSB hosted a forum on Attentive Driving: Countermeasures for Distraction that examined countermeasures to mitigate distracted driving behaviors. Forum panelists discussed the findings of distracted driver research, distracted driving laws and enforcement, changing attitudes and behaviors through education and outreach, and technology and design countermeasures. The forum was the culmination of a decade of accident investigations involving distractions in all modes of transportation. The following paragraphs summarize NTSB highway investigations that have resulted in recommendations to reduce driver-distraction-related accidents and fatalities. On August 5, 2010, a highway accident occurred in Gray Summit, Missouri, I in which a pickup truck, whose driver was engaged in texting, rear-ended the back of a tractor and set off a series of collisions that killed two people. On December 13, 2011, as a result of its investigation of the accident, the NTSB called on the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the nonemergency use of PEDs while driving (other than those devices designed to support the driving task) for all drivers. The safety recommendation also urged the use of targeted education and enforcement campaigns to support these bans. Also in 2010, near Munfordville, Kentucky,2 a truck-tractor in combination with a 53-foot-Iong trailer left its lane, crossed the median, and collided with a IS-passenger van, resulting in 11 fatalities. The truck driver failed to maintain control of his vehicle because he was distracted by use of his cell phone. As a result of this and previous investigations, the NTSB issued a recommendation that all holders of commercial driver's licenses (CDL) be prohibited from using both hand-held and hands-free cell phones while operating a commercial vehicle, except in emergencies. In 2004, an experienced motorcoach driver failed to move to the center lane and struck the underside of an arched stone bridge on the George Washington Parkway in Alexandria, Virginia. Eleven of the 27 high school students on the bus were injured. The NTSB determined that the probable cause of this accident was the bus driver's failure to notice and respond to posted low-clearance warning signs and to the bridge itself due to cognitive distraction resulting from a hands-free cell phone conversation while driving. The NTSB issued a recommendation that the 50 states and the District of Columbia ban cell phone use by commercial drivers with school bus or passenger endorsements, except in emergencies. In 2002, a novice driver, distracted by a cell phone conversation, crossed the highway median near Largo, Maryland, flipped over, and landed on a minivan, killing five persons. As a result of this investigation, the NTSB issued a recommendation that the 50 states and the District of Columbia prohibit novice drivers from using interactive wireless communication devices while driving. Across all modes of transportation, the NTSB has issued 18 recommendations calling for the prohibition of PED use by aviators, railroaders, mariners, young drivers, and bus and truck drivers. Although the NTSB has not made any specific recommendations on driver distraction related to in-vehicle navigation, communications, or information and entertainment systems, the emergence of new in-vehicle technologies not related to the driving task is of significant concern and should be closely monitored to detect potential adverse effects upon driving performance. Maximizing the Effectiveness of Voluntary Guidelines NHTSA provides a detailed explanation of why it is proposing voluntary guidelines rather than mandatory Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The NTSB appreciates that the rapid pace of technology evolution cam10t be fully addressed with a static rule. One advantage of guidelines over safety standards is that they present the opportunity to set performance criteria above a minimum acceptable level and do so more quickly than standards would, given the time required for rulemaking. The proposed guidelines are somewhat stronger than current industry guidelines, but NHTSA should set the safety bar even higher. The NTSB urges NHTSA to go beyond its stated expectation of "interfaces that do not exceed a reasonable level of complexity for visual-manual secondary tasks" and strive for more than "discouraging the introduction of egregiously distracting non-driving tasks performed using integrated devices." Instead, NHTSA should be promoting integrated devices that provide a safety benefit, or that at least do not increase the risk in any measureable way. In the absence of a regulatory requirement for in-vehicle information system design, consumers need a method to determine whether a vehicle has a safe design, and manufacturers need incentives to demonstrate that they are meeting or exceeding the guidelines. One such mechanism would be to create a safety marketplace in which automakers compete to provide safer vehicles that meet or exceed the proposed guidelines, as NHTSA has been doing for more than three decades with its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) five-star safety rating system. Beginning with model year 2011, NHTSA has provided more information about vehicles, indicating whether rated vehicles are equipped with electronic stability control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning systems. As soon as the proposed Driver Distraction Guidelines are adopted, NHTSA should immediately add to its NCAP information a notice of whether a new car complies with the guidelines and also note those vehicles that do not comply. As NHTSA develops a better understanding of driver distraction and the means to evaluate the effects of in-vehicle systems on driving safety, it should consider developing a more refined rating system akin to NCAP's crashworthiness rating system that considers in-vehicle information systems. Furthermore, NHTSA's experience with evaluating in-vehicle information systems for the purpose of ratings will improve its ability to determine the effectiveness and sufficiency of the guidelines. Phased Approach to Driver Distraction Guidelines NHTSA intends to release the guidelines in three phases. The first phase will explore the visual-manual interfaces of devices installed in vehicles. The second phase will include portable and aftermarket devices, and the third phase will include auditory-vocal interfaces. Although it is understood that NHTSA intends to develop guidelines for aftermarket and PED interfaces immediately following completion of the first phase, it is essential to minimize the delay between phases to avoid (1) migration to systems that are not designed for the driving environment and (2) reliance on voice-based in-vehicle systems with flawed designs that may increase the cognitive distraction of drivers. Specifically, the NTSB is concerned that drivers may increase their use of PEDs due to the restrictions being placed on in-vehicle systems in phase one. Although general usability is a strong consideration in the design of some PEDs, the safety of their use as a secondary task to driving is not a factor in their design. Additionally, automotive and device manufacturers are adding greater connectivity for drivers, and in-vehicle information systems increasingly rely on voice activation. A release of guidelines in 2014 will not address nl0del year 2015 vehicles, further exacerbating the problem that first-generation auditory-vocal interfaces will be in widespread use in on-road vehicles without the benefit of design guidelines. Given the current deployment of in-vehicle computing with voice commands and synthetic speech, NHTSA needs to expedite the roll out of phases two and three. Underemphasis on Cognitive Distraction The NTSB is concerned that the NHTSA Driver Distraction Program is based on the assumption that the primary risk associated with in-vehicle PED use by drivers is visual-manual interaction. It is essential to understand the cognitive demands associated with secondary tasks, particularly auditory-vocal communication tasks, in the context of in-vehicle information and communication devices. As evidenced by the work of panelists attending the recent NTSB forum on countermeasures to distraction, numerous studies have shown that driver distraction occurs during both handheld and hands-free cell phone conversations. 8 NHTSA acknowledges that there is a large amount of research on the topic of driver distraction, yet the guidelines appear to focus on naturalistic driving studies. Particularly, this notice refers to naturalistic driving research that reports that engaging in hands-free phone conversations while driving is safe and provides a protective effect. This finding, from the commercial vehicle naturalistic study, is but one piece of an overall body of research and should be considered within the context of its limitations. Although naturalistic studies provide extremely strong evidence for distraction involving driver behaviors such as visual or manual activities, naturalistic studies, given their dependence on video data, cannot fully assess the cognitive demands associated with hands-free secondary tasks. The measurement of cognitive distraction that does not result in drivers taking their eyes off the road is essential. Both driver performance and brain activity should be assessed to better understand cognitive load. The NTSB findings from its investigation of the 2004 Alexandria, Virginia, motorcoach accident involving the driver's use of a hands-free cell phone are consistent with research showing that drivers conversing on a cell phone-whether handheld or hands-free-are cognitively distracted from the driving task. Need for Improved Event Data The NTSB agrees with NHTSA that efforts are needed to improve the validity and reliability of distracted driving data and believes that such data are necessary both to track the magnitude of distracted driving as a risk factor in accidents and to assess the efficacy of countermeasures. In its notice, NHTSA explains that identifying specific distracting activities and behaviors has presented challenges, partly because police reports may list "other distraction" or "distraction unknown" rather than identifying a specific distraction source, and partly because police may not have enough information to recognize the contribution of distraction to an accident. The NTSB supports NHTSA's ongoing modifications to the Model Minimal Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC), which may better capture and classify crashes related to distraction. The proposed 4th edition of the MMUCC currently does not have a specific code to distinguish in-vehicle electronics from PEDs. As integrated devices for navigation, communication, and information and entertainment continue to proliferate in the vehicle fleet, it is critical for NHTSA and others, such as the NTSB and law enforcement, to be able to determine whether drivers were using such systems immediately before or during a crash. Consequently, NHTSA should require manufacturers to include a recording capability in their in-vehicle and integrated systems, such as exists in some vehicles already on the market, to facilitate accident investigation and safety research. NHTSA recognized the value of recording vehicle data in its 2006 rulemaking on vehicle event data recorders (EDR) when it said, "EDR data can provide information to enhance our understanding of crash events and safety system performance, thereby potentially contributing to safer vehicle designs and more effective safety regulations. Crash Avoidance Technologies The proposed guidelines also cite the April 2010 "Overview of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Driver Distraction Program," which summarized steps that NHTSA intends to take "to help eliminate crashes attributable to driver distraction." One of the four initiatives discussed in the program involves keeping drivers safe through the introduction of crash warning or crash avoidance technologies. The NTSB strongly agrees that such systems can prevent or mitigate accidents; and, for more than a decade, we have made recommendations advocating technological solutions to reduce or mitigate collisions for both passenger and commercial vehicles. A large body of evidence now shows that collision warning, lane departure warning, and automatic braking systems are effective, based on research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, automobile manufacturers, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and other organizations. These systems address driver inattentiveness from all potential sources of distraction, including PEDs. Scope of Guidelines According to the notice, because NHTSA's research focus to date has been on light vehicles, the proposed guidelines are limited to passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, and trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating of not more than 10,000 pounds. However, considering the significance of large commercial vehicles in overall crash and fatality rates, and given the increasing availability and use of electronic logs, global positioning system, and other potentially distracting systems in these vehicles, the NTSB encourages NHTSA, with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, to monitor the introduction of in-vehicle technology and aftermarket technology into medium trucks, heavy trucks, and buses, including motorcoaches, and to conduct research as appropriate. Conclusion The NTSB is pleased that NHTSA is moving forward with providing visual-manual guidance to manufacturers, but we view this phased approach as a limited effort, given the varied nature of driver distraction and new car market indications of future in-vehicle information system designs. The NTSB has concerns about the voluntary nature of the guidelines and believes that NHTSA's Distracted Driver Program underemphasizes the role of cognitive distraction. The NTSB also has made safety recommendations concerning crash avoidance technology. We are encouraged to see that NHTSA has included standards for these systems in the NCAP program that, in tum, provide an incentive for vehicle manufacturers to incorporate these technologies in new vehicles. We continue to believe that much could be gained by acquiring data on the use of in-vehicle systems prior to accidents, and we are interested in learning more about NHTSA's plans for evaluating the effects of in-vehicle, aftermarket, and portable systems in all vehicles. Thank you for this opportunity to comment on the proposed guidelines.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 2/8/2012
Response: From the greensheet issuing safety recommendations H-11-36 through H-11-38, which were issued as a result of the August 5, 2010 highway accident in Gray Summit, Missouri: For over a decade, the NTSB has advocated technological solutions to reduce the occurrence of rear-end collisions for both passenger and commercial vehicles. In 2001, the NTSB made the following recommendations to the DOT: Complete rulemaking on adaptive cruise control and collision warning system performance standards for new commercial vehicles. At a minimum, these standards should address obstacle detection distance, timing of alerts, and human factors guidelines, such as the mode and type of warning. (H-01-6) After promulgating performance standards for collision warning systems for commercial vehicles, require that all new commercial vehicles be equipped with a collision warning system. (H-01-7) Complete rulemaking on adaptive cruise control and collision warning system performance standards for new passenger cars. At a minimum, these standards should address obstacle detection distance, timing of alerts, and human factors guidelines, such as the mode and type of warning. (H-01-8) Following its investigation of a 2005 multifatality accident involving a motorcoach and an overturned truck-tractor semitrailer combination unit on Interstate 94 near Osseo, Wisconsin, the NTSB issued a recommendation to NHTSA requiring FCW systems on commercial vehicles: Determine whether equipping commercial vehicles with collision warning systems with active braking and electronic stability control systems will reduce commercial vehicle accidents. If these technologies are determined to be effective in reducing accidents, require their use on commercial vehicles. (H-08-15) Following the investigation of a 10-fatality accident, when a truck-tractor semitrailer combination unit rear-ended and overrode several passenger vehicles on I-44 near Miami, Oklahoma, the NTSB reiterated Safety Recommendations H-01-6 and -7 to NHTSA and reclassified their status to “Open—Unacceptable Response.”12 The Miami report also reiterated Safety Recommendation H-08-15 to NHTSA, and its status is “Open—Acceptable Response.” Safety Recommendation H-01-8 is currently classified “Open—Acceptable Response.” The DOT has sponsored a variety of research into collision avoidance systems. Much of the passenger vehicle research has been conducted as part of the NHTSA crash avoidance research program in the area of integrated vehicle-based safety systems. Commercial vehicle research has found that 21 percent of rear-end crashes could be prevented with FCW systems alone, and 28 percent of rear-end crashes could be prevented with a combination of FCW and ACC. If all 1.8 million commercial trucks in the United States were equipped with FCW systems, the DOT estimates that 4,700 rear-end crashes, 2,500 injuries, and 96 fatalities could be prevented each year. NTSB investigators were unable to determine whether FCW and ACC could have prevented or mitigated the initial Gray Summit collision because of insufficient information about the actions of the GMC pickup driver. Had the pickup entered the right lane several hundred feet behind the Volvo tractor, an FCW system might have warned the driver in time for him to take evasive action and avoid the collision. Unfortunately, it is not possible to determine from the available evidence when the pickup entered the right lane and how soon after that the initial collision occurred. Had the lead school bus been equipped with an FCW system, it is possible that the driver would have been alerted far enough in advance to take action to avoid the GMC pickup–Volvo tractor collision. An FCW system would have alerted the bus driver to the accident 350 feet ahead. Although the ruptured brake line of the lead bus would not have allowed the driver to stop her vehicle in time, the FCW alert might have given her enough time to swerve to avoid a frontal collision, or at least to mitigate the severity of the impact. Moreover, the activation of brake lights on the rear of the lead bus would have given the driver of the following school bus a readily recognizable cue to initiate braking, and more time and distance to decelerate her vehicle. Had the following bus also been equipped with an FCW system, the bus driver would have been alerted to the slowing or stopped vehicles ahead. The braking cues of the lead bus and the FCW alerts might have allowed her to avoid the collisions ahead, regardless of the involvement of the lead bus. The NTSB concluded that FCW systems on the two accident buses—and possibly on the GMC pickup—could have prevented the accident or at least mitigated its severity. Because NHTSA has not yet completed rulemaking requiring FCW systems on private and commercial vehicles, and because the NTSB continues to investigate serious accidents that could have been prevented or mitigated with FCW systems, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendations H-01-8 and H-08-15 to NHTSA and reclassifies each recommendation OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE. The NTSB also reiterates Safety Recommendations H-01-6 and -7 to NHTSA.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 9/28/2010
Response: Written in the Miami, Oklahoma Accident Report (NTSB/HAR-10/02 PB2010-916202) 9/28/2010- The NTSB considers that installing new technologies in CMVs—such as FCWSs, ACC, active braking, and ESC—has the potential to reduce accidents substantially. Following the investigation of an October 2005 accident in which five people were killed when a motorcoach collided with an overturned truck-tractor semitrailer combination unit on Interstate 94 near Osseo, Wisconsin,206 the NTSB issued Safety Recommendation H-08-15 to NHTSA. Since February 26, 2010, Safety Recommendation H-08-15 has been “Open—Acceptable Response.” Also in the Osseo report, the NTSB reiterated Safety Recommendations H-01-6 and -7 to NHTSA. In a letter dated June 4, 2009, NHTSA responded to these NTSB recommendations by providing an update on its current projects evaluating the application of various technologies for commercial trucks and motorcoaches. NHTSA is conducting a test track evaluation of commercially available CMB systems and has indicated that an initial evaluation of their performance capabilities will be completed in 2010. A NHTSA project to evaluate the potential safety benefits of active braking systems is expected to be completed in 2011. Based on these reports of progress from NHTSA, Safety Recommendations H-01-6 and -7 were classified “Open—Acceptable Response.” Due to their high mileage exposure207 and the severity of crashes involving them, combination-unit trucks have the highest crash cost per vehicle over the operational life of the vehicle; therefore, FCWSs may provide a relatively higher safety benefit for this class of trucks.208 However, government and industry entities are still conducting operational testing and encouraging voluntary implementation of FCWSs. Although the work being done by private industry and the government is encouraging, the slow pace of testing and standards development and the limited deployment of FCWSs in commercial vehicles are cause for concern, given the large number of rear-end collisions and the high rate of fatalities that result when commercial vehicles are involved. For years, the NTSB has been advocating the implementation of in-vehicle systems that enhance the safety of heavy vehicles, both by mitigating accident severity and preventing accidents altogether. Safety benefits are often not the result of one system on its own; more often, it is the synergy of systems working together that can prevent and mitigate a larger percentage of accidents, resulting in the greatest reduction of highway injuries and fatalities. Although FCWS use within a heavy vehicle is crucial to provide warning of an impending collision, integrating this safety system with related technologies would provide even greater opportunity for preventing accidents, as well as for reducing the severity and frequency of rear-end accidents. The NTSB considers that FCWSs have great promise and that the added feature of active braking increases their potential for preventing accidents. However, the pace of NHTSA’s progress in this vital area has been too slow. Because NHTSA is still evaluating these systems and is not yet near rulemaking that would require them to be used in commercial vehicles, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendations H-01-6 and -7 and H-08-15. Further, although the NTSB acknowledges that NHTSA has made some progress in conducting research in this area, due to the lack of timely completion of the recommended actions, Safety Recommendations H-01-6 and -7 are reclassified “Open—Unacceptable Response.” The status of Safety Recommendation H-08-15 remains OPEN – ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE. Also written in the Miami, Oklahoma Accident Report (NTSB/HAR-10/02 PB2010-916202) 9/28/2010- the National Transportation Safety Board reiterates Safety Recommendation H-08-15.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 2/26/2010
Response: Safety Recommendation H-08-15, stated below, was issued to NHTSA as a result of the NTSB’s investigation of a truck-tractor semitrailer rollover and subsequent motorcoach collision with the overturned truck that occurred on Interstate Highway 94 near Osseo, Wisconsin, on October 16, 2005. Since the NTSB published our 2001 special investigation report on rear-end collisions and recommended that NHTSA develop performance standards and a requirement for CWS and ACC on commercial vehicles (H-01-6 and -7), technology has advanced. Safety Recommendation H-08-15, therefore, asks NHTSA to evaluate active braking and ESC as possible safety improvements to the CWS technology recommended in the 2001 recommendations. NHTSA suggests that H-08-15 duplicates the action recommended in H-01-6 and has recommended that the 2008 recommendation supersede the 2001 recommendation; however, the NTSB does not intend to supersede Safety Recommendations H-01-6 or -7 with H-08-15 because H-08-15 asks for NHTSA to determine whether ESC and active braking would enhance the CWS systems recommended for commercial vehicles in H-01-6 and -7. The NTSB is pleased to note that NHTSA recently initiated research on CWS that incorporates active braking and has accelerated its work on stability control systems for commercial vehicles with research on truck tractors that was expected to be completed in late 2009, and on single-unit trucks and buses that is expected to be completed in 2010. CWSs that incorporate active braking, also known as collision mitigation braking (CMB) systems, not only provide the functionality of FCW but also initiate braking prior to a reaction from the driver. NHTSA is currently conducting a test track evaluation of commercially available CMB systems and expects to complete an initial evaluation of the performance capabilities of these systems in 2010, followed by an evaluation of the potential safety benefits of CMB systems in 2011. The NTSB would appreciate receiving updates on these research and evaluation projects as results become available. As NHTSA’s efforts address the intent of Safety Recommendation H-08-15, this recommendation is classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE, pending NHTSA’s decision about whether to require active braking and ESC on commercial vehicles equipped with CWS.

From: NHTSA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/4/2009
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 6/9/2009 4:15:57 PM MC# 2090360: - From Ronald L. Medford, Acting Deputy Administrator: Letter Mail Controlled 6/9/2009 4:15:57 PM MC# 2090360: Thank you for your February 2 letter regarding the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) Safety Recommendation H-08- 15 and reiterations of H-0 1-06 and H-01-07. Safety Recommendation H-08-15 requested that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determine whether equipping commercial vehicles with collision warning systems that incorporate active braking and electronic stability control systems will reduce commercial vehicle crashes. NTSB recommends that the agency require their use on commercial vehicles. Safety Recommendation H-01-06 asks the agency to initiate rulemaking on adaptive cruise control and collision warning system performance standards for new commercial vehicles. At a minimum, you believe that these standards should address obstacle detection distance, timing of alerts, and human factors guidelines, such as the mode and type of warning. Safety Recommendation H-0 1-07 states that after promulgating performance standards for collision warning systems for commercial vehicles, the agency should require that all new commercial vehicles be equipped with a collision warning system. NHTSA shares NTSB’s desire to improve commercial vehicle safety and the promise that advanced technologies such as stability control, forward collision warning, and crash mitigation technologies hold in doing so. We have several projects underway that are not only evaluating the application of these different technologies for commercial trucks but also for motorcoaches and similar high passenger carrying vehicles where a single crash has the potential to result in multiple injuries .and fatalities. I am pleased to provide you with an update on these activities. Directly related to H-01-06 and H-01-07, are NHTSA’s activities in the Department’s Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Program. As you stated, NHTSA, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), have completed a Field Operational Test (FOT) on a system that comprised Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Forward Crash Warning (FCW), and air disc brakes. While the results did provide some insight, unfortunately they were not conclusive. Furthermore, because it relies on the driver to activate the cruise control to receive any safety benefit, we believe that ACC in its current form is a driver convenience system and not a safety system. Additional research has been initiated by FMCSA this year to monitor and evaluate the realworld experience of truck fleets that are using FCW, lane departure warning, and electronic stability control (ESC) systems. The study is due to be completed in 2011. Regarding H-08- 15, NHTSA recently initiated research on collision warning systems that incorporate active braking, and we are continuing our work on stability control systems. NHTSA has accelerated its work on stability control systems for commercial vehicles with research completing in late 2009 on truck tractors, and 2010 for single unit trucks and buses. Collision warning systems that incorporate active braking, also known as Collision Mitigation Braking (CMB) systems, not only provide the functionality of FCW, but also initiate braking prior to a reaction from the driver. NHTSA is currently conducting a test track evaluation of commercially available CMB systems and an initial evaluation of their performance capabilities will be completed in 2010. In addition, a project to evaluate the potential safety benefits of CMB systems is expected to be completed in 20 1 1. While NHTSA understands the basis for H-01-06 and H-0 1-07 and fully appreciates that H-01 -06 is on the Most Wanted List, we believe that recommendation H-08-15 is largely duplicative of those and appears to supersede those previous recommendations, based upon more recent information. Based on our efforts to date, NHTSA’s research and regulatory decision activities are focused on what we believe to be the most promising safety technologies for commercial vehicles. These include stability control systems, and systems that combine FCW capability with active braking (e.g. CMB systems). Given the above updates, NHTSA respectfully suggests that the board change the status of H-01 -06 and H-0 1-07 to Open Acceptable Alternative Action and the status of H-08- 15 to Open Acceptable Action.