An Insight to the Safety of Autonomous Vehicles

An Insight to the Safety of Autonomous Vehicles

Knowing the safety performance of these vehicles is important for the conversation of implementing this technology in the workplace.

In recent years, autonomous vehicles have talked about more and more than before. As automated technology advances, so does its potential use for many companies.

In 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 12.6 million people were employed in the transportation and material moving industries. Some companies are starting to test the use of autonomous vehicles, like Google. This year, Google Parent company Alphabet announced that autonomous vehicles will be transporting employees around in California, according to an article by CBS News. A few years ago, Tesla unveiled its idea for an autonomous semi-truck.

The advancement of these technologies have many companies talking and asking questions. How will this affect transportation workers? What are the worker safety concerns? What is the best way to use the technology? Although the degree of impact these vehicles will have on companies and workers is not known yet, one thing that we need to consider is the safety performance.

Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published data on the “safety performance of advanced technology vehicles.” These reports cover SAE Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and SAE Levels 3 through 5 Automated Driving Systems. According to the ADAS report, these vehicles “provide both speed and steering input when the driver assistance system is engaged but require the human driver to remain fully engaged in the driving task at all times.” ADS vehicles between levels 3 and 5 involve less human interaction.

According to an NHTSA press release, SAE L2 ADAS-equipped vehicles were in 116 reported crashes with another vehicle and four crashes with a “vulnerable road user.” Less than a dozen crashes resulted in “alleged serious injures or a fatality.”

For the ADS-equipped vehicles, 130 crashes were reported. Of these, 108 crashes were with another vehicle and 11 were with a “vulnerable road user, such as a pedestrian or cyclist.” One crash resulted in serious injuries, and 108 resulted in no injuries. 

The National Safety Council (NSC) released a statement about the publication of this data. “NSC has long supported safety reporting, including greater transparency around the effectiveness of advanced technology in preventing crashes. NSC also knows these data are necessary to inform the changes this country must see on our roadways, such as performance-based requirements for ADAS technology as well as vehicle design changes to ensure protection for people outside the vehicle,” NSC said.

Download Center

  • Industrial Premium Library

    Empower your workforce with the manufacturing, industrial maintenance, operations, HSE, compliance, and professional development skills they need to complete their tasks efficiently and safely. Not only will you boost productivity, reliability, skills, and morale but you’ll also onboard faster, and retain your best employees while meeting regulatory standards. Vector Solutions offers over 1,800 award-winning eLearning courses designed to keep your employees safe, transfer knowledge of fundamentals, and develop industry and job-specific skills that reduce downtime, maintenance costs and more.

  • Safety Metrics & Insights Webinar

    EHS professionals have been tackling the subject of how to best measure performance for many years. Lagging indicators like the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Days Away Restricted Transfer Rate (DART) are a good place to start, but you shouldn’t forget about the leading indicators that your workforce does every day to prevent incidents from occurring. Learn about some of the most common KPIs of safety programs and how Vector EHS Management software can be used to track these metrics in this webinar.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively. Download this guide for details on risk matrix calculations including severity, probability, and risk assessment.

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2022

    September 2022


    • ESG
      EHS Will Guide Future ESG Success for Many Organizations
      Handling Material Handlers: Training Beyond PIT Requirements
      The Missing Link with EHS Software
      Noise Surveys from the Trenches
    View This Issue