Telematics, Safety Defects, and Connected Vehicles

This report investigates the possibilities of using embedded vehicle sensor technology to support identification of safety related defects to assist stakeholders with vehicle safety oversite.

March 2016

Suggested Citation

For media inquiries, contact:

Tamra Johnson
202-942-2079
TRJohnson@national.aaa.com

Authors

Suzanne Murtha

Jeffrey Bagdade

Michael Freitas

John Hinch

Abstract

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety undertook an effort to investigate the possibilities of integrating data from forthcoming connected vehicle systems into defect analysis for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Atkins was selected by the AAA Foundation to study NHTSA’s defect investigation process and challenges. Upon detailed investigation of available telematics data, understanding of NHTSA defect analysis and processes, and finally availability of data from the forthcoming connected vehicle mandate, our analysis concluded that it does not seem feasible that in the existing technical environment that connected vehicle data could efficiently be used to help improve and analyze defects in the near term. However, this area is extremely promising and the technology is advancing rapidly. Generally, we learned that the NHTSA defect identification and analysis program is currently significantly limited in terms of staffing and funding. Further, at the behest of the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI), NHTSA is currently undergoing changes in processes and is also considering integration of large data aggregation techniques to be enabled to better identify defects before they become large scale. Atkins’ report on the ODI process came at roughly the same time as the US Investigator General’s (IG) report on ODI which included a number of suggested process improvements. Atkins and the AAA Foundation met with NHTSA to talk through capabilities and needs of both organizations to see where there is a possibility of AAA supporting NHTSA in completing some of the IG recommended steps as well as helping improve data gathering from the field.

Suggested Citation

For media inquiries, contact:

Tamra Johnson
202-942-2079
TRJohnson@national.aaa.com

Authors

Suzanne Murtha

Jeffrey Bagdade

Michael Freitas

John Hinch