NHTSA’s Five Eras of Safety is the Path to Full Automation

Automakers add new bells and whistles with every new model release, but it is the safety features that you may not see that offer the biggest benefits to motorists. Technology and equipment continue to evolve, especially automated driving systems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) predicts that these features will eventually take over driving tasks and eliminate the human errors that are often behind traffic crashes. There are more than 39,000 fatalities and more than 2.5 million victims injured in accidents, and self-driving cars have the potential to significantly reduce these figures. 

The NHTSA’s road to full automation is a long one, but the US is already several years into the journey. We have already reaped many of the safety benefits through features that will be familiar to any motorist. However, collisions will remain a threat, so it is important to consult with a Miami car accident lawyer if you were injured or lost a loved one in an accident. An overview of the NHTSA’s Five Eras of Safety provides insight into the past, present, and future.

Safety in the Rear View Mirror 

You may not realize it, but the US has been on the road to full automation for decades.

  • 1950 to 2000: The safety features that were available on vehicles made during this period are now either universal in the auto industry or required by federal regulations. The most common piece of equipment that became standard in this era, the gold standard of safety in vehicles, is the seatbelt. Antilock brakes were developed to reduce the potential for a crash, while cruise control is both a safety feature and convenience.
  • 2000 to 2010: Safety features developed during these decades rely on the use of sensors, cameras, onboard computers, and telecommunications networks. The goal is to prevent or reduce the risk of crashes through such solutions as:
    • Blind spot detection;
    • Forward collision warning;
    • Electronic stability control; and,
    • Lane departure alerts.
  • 2010 to 2016: While technology from the 2000s aimed to warn motorists about road and traffic threats, vehicles manufactured during this time actually have the power to take action. The onboard computer will issue an alert and apply automatic emergency braking. This feature is effective at reducing rear-end crashes and pedestrian accidents.

Vehicle Automation Now and in the Future

We are currently moving toward the end of the next era of safety in the NHTSA model, covering 2016 to 2025. Partial automation is already available in many recent models, but there is not yet the technology that will completely take the place of the motorist. The NHTSA estimates that 2025 and beyond will see full automation, largely due to the increased development of vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) infrastructure that enables automobiles to talk to each other.

Discuss Legal Remedies With a Miami Car Accidents Attorney 

For more information on your rights after an auto crash, please call (305) 371-6000 or go online to reach Gerson & Schwartz, PA. We can set up a no-cost case review at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.

Florida Justice Association
The National Center for Victims of Crime
outh Florida Legal Guide
Contact Information