Speaking at the 99th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB), United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Elaine L. Chao recently announced a series of transportation initiatives designed to improve safety for the traveling public and first responders through the use of new and existing technologies (U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces New Initiatives to Improve Safety on America’s Roads). “These safety initiatives will make a difference in saving lives and help prevent injuries among first responders and all road users,” Secretary Chao said.
The new initiatives are the next phase of the Partnership for Analytics Research in Traffic Safety (PARTS) program and expand participation to nearly 70% of the United States automobile market. PARTS II will collect data on Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS), including Lane Keep Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control, and analyze real-world results to determine the safety of these systems.
The USDOT created PARTS as a voluntary, data-focused, safety partnership between the automobile industry and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A previous study involving six automobile manufacturers found that vehicles with Automatic Emergency Braking Systems experienced 53% fewer rear-end collisions.
Secretary Chao also announced USDOT’s intention to invest as much as $38 million in a new program designed to protect the safety of America’s first responders. The First Responder Safety Technology Pilot Program will help equip emergency response vehicles with vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication technology, featuring the 5.9 Gigahertz Safety Band reserved by the FCC for use in transportation safety systems.
The USDOT also introduced an initiative called “Clearing the Confusion,” designed to maintain a standardized listing of recommended ADAS terminology. The initiative, led by the National Safety Council, AAA, Consumer Reports, and J.D. Power, will use standard language to make it clear that these systems are designed to assist, not replace, an engaged driver.
Because the transportation industry continues to emphasize its own profits over safety, the USDOT currently employs almost 55,000 people across the country to ensure that America has the safest, most efficient transportation system in the world. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, please contact Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman for a free consultation. We will only receive a fee in the event of a successful resolution of your case.