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Tesla, Waymo, and more must now report all self-driving accidents to the government

Honestly surprised it took this long to put a rule like this in place.

tesla model 3 steering wheel
Image: Unsplash

It’s no secret that companies working on self-driving tech have had some issues with wrecks. Tesla is obviously the main culprit here, if for nothing more than Elon Musk and having the most recognizable name. Now, a new rule looks to better compile information surrounding these wrecks.

Announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car manufacturers that include semi-autonomous driving systems must now report every one of these accidents to the NHTSA or face fines. Those fines could be up to “$22,992 per day and a maximum penalty of ‘more than $100 million’,” according to the Washington Post.

Only crashes involving self-driving systems must be reported, but the NHTSA says that any Level 2 ADAS (advanced driver assistance system) must be reported within a day. Basically, this means if the vehicle is using lane-assist or anything of that nature during the crash, it is possible it needs to be reported.

We say “possibly” here because the NHTSA also notes not all crashes need to be reported, but any crashes that “involve a hospital-treated injury, a fatality, a vehicle tow-away, an air bag deployment, or a vulnerable road user such as a pedestrian or bicyclist.” Other traffic collisions involving driver-assist features must be reported on a monthly basis.

Overall, it’s not surprising to see this go into effect, but more surprising that it took this long.

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