Will rapidly developing technology-based safety enhancements for vehicles be able to counter human error – which causes more than 30,000 traffic fatalities a year on U.S. roads?

That’s the subject that will be explored by an expert panel of government officials, car manufacturers, researchers, automobile media groups, industry associations, and safety advocates at an event convened by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the National Safety Council (NSC).

Warnings and blind spots

The expert panel, titled Reaching Zero Crashes: A Dialogue on the Role of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, will discuss how driver assistance systems such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, and other technology-based safety enhancements can prevent or mitigate vehicle crashes and save lives. The group will also explore how to educate and train the public on the use of such technologies and how human factors influence vehicle design.

The NTSB issued its first safety recommendation on the use of technology to mitigate crashes in 1995 and has made numerous vehicle technology recommendations during the past two decades. “Promote Availability of Collision Avoidance Technologies in Highway Vehicles” is on NTSB’s Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements. The National Safety Council and the University of Iowa have launched the MyCarDoesWhat campaign to educate drivers about the technologies in their vehicles and how to safely interface with them.

NTSB Board Member Earl Weener and National Safety Council President and CEO Deborah Hersman will lead the panel. “It is past time for mass use of these life-saving technologies in order to reach zero crashes,” said Weener.

Who's involved

Experts from the following organizations plan to participate in the panel:
• The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
• The Highway Data Loss Institute
• AAA National
• The University of Iowa
• The University of Michigan, Transportation Research Institute
• AARP and The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence
• Global Automakers
• Property Casualty Insurers Association of America
• The National Automobile Dealers Association
• Volvo
• State Farm
• The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
• Kelley Blue Book
• US News and World Report
• Consumer Reports
• American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association
• Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

The meeting will be held in the NTSB Board Room and Conference Center, 429 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC, Oct. 27, 2016, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. The meeting is open to the public. RSVPs are welcome. For more information, visit www.ntsb.gov/drivertech, and email mailto:media@nsc.org with questions.