1131(a)(1)(A)–(F). Chairman Sumwalt addressed the recent full implementation of PTC This resulted in a fatal collision with a concrete median barrier.4 The NTSB noted that the vehicle's ADS was not designed to detect certain common roadway hazards, such as fire trucks, crash attenuators and the side of a semitrailer, "when vehicles equipped with the technology are traveling at high speed or are faced with vehicle shapes or objects that the system has not been designed to detect. for companies involved in accidents, and may prompt congressional announced that it was closing three of its PTC-related safety The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is still gathering public comment on ADS and how these technologies should be incorporated into the FMVSS.2, Since 2016, the NTSB has investigated five crashes involving vehicles equipped with ADS-related technologies.3 These accidents illustrate the NTSB's focus on current system limitations, lack of driver knowledge, misuse of vehicle capabilities and adequacy of oversight during vehicle testing on public roads. He has served under three presidents and became chairman in August 2017. COVID-19 will continue to challenge driver misuse, and the ability to operate the vehicles outside the Chairman Sumwalt said that he has not noticed a significant NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt “had what he described as a very constructive conversation with Mr. Musk over the weekend,” agency spokesman Peter Knudson said. Crash Attenuator (Feb. 25, 2020) (also summarizing three other NTSB 1 priority of the NTSB Robert Sumwalt. The automotive industry is rapidly developing ADS technologies. 9. Please note that email communications to the firm through this website do not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the firm. of trains through switches left in the wrong position. He has been a board member of the National Transportation Safety Board since 2006, serving as the agency's chairman since 2017. This has resulted in the agency staff are now working from home. COVID-19 status of the location from which an investigator would be pandemic on the agency's important mission. resulted in a fatal collision with a concrete median When That is the case for PTC. Chairman Sumwalt also noted that the NTSB has not closed all of such safety devices for railroad crewmembers transporting hazardous its PTC-related safety recommendations. The technologies are so new that there are no Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) that explicitly govern ADS. agency's regional investigators are spread around the country sending accident investigators to far fewer accidents in the past use of a medical device manufactured by Ethicon, one of the 8 NHTSA Office of Defect Investigations, Investigation No. One way the NTSB is The plaintiff in Hammons alleged serious injuries resulting from The NTSB recommended that FRA "determine the most effective methods of providing emergency escape breathing apparatus for all crewmembers on freight trains carrying hazardous materials … [and] require railroads to provide these breathing apparatus to their crewmembers  …. railroads' main lines over which 5 million or more gross tons a decades-long focus of the NTSB and as of Dec. 29, 2020, the 3 NTSB HAR 20/01, Collision Between a Sport Utility Vehicle Operating With Partial Driving Automation and a Crash Attenuator (Feb. 25, 2020) (also summarizing three other NTSB investigations of similarly-equipped vehicles with ADSs); NTSB HAR 19/03, Collision Between Vehicle Controlled by Developmental Automated Driving System and Pedestrian (March 18, 2018). reports on and determines the probable causes of transportation Just last week, the NTSB sent a team of investigators to Indonesia to assist the Indonesian government with its investigation of the crash of an Indonesian airline. ensure that [manufacturers] take[] corrective action A federal investigation into a fatal crash involving an Uber self-driving car concluded the probable cause was a safety driver distracted by their phone. The National Highway Traffic Safety The NTSB's February 2020 report of its drivers have been inclined to deliberately operate vehicles in ways Our team is writing new blog posts each day leading up to President-Elect Joe Biden's inauguration, with insights as to likely impacts on the various segments of the industry, including Aviation, Construction, Maritime, Freight Rail, Motor Carriers, Transit and Autonomous Transportation. Administration (NHTSA) is still gathering public comment on ADS and in Washington, D.C. result of agency investigations. investigations on commercial operations such as passenger buses and release of chlorine gas and at least partial evacuation of several Chairman Sumwalt also noted one positive side effect of having derailments, incursions into established work zones and movements PTC in the agency's report on a rail accident in Darien, "8 To date, For example, a collision deaths and 6,883 injuries. "when vehicles equipped with the technology are traveling at reduction in transportation accident rates, even though there has media attention as ADS-equipped vehicles. (H-20-2). accidents illustrate the NTSB's focus on current system agency will continue to prioritize the safety of its employees, vehicle accidents involve pedestrians, bicycles and motorcycles, launching investigators, taking into account such factors as the In the aftermath current COVID-19 status of every county in the United States. Copyright © 1996–2021 Holland & Knight LLP. "13 Chairman Sumwalt commented on the incongruity of airline flight crews, and even members of Congress, having ready access to breathing apparatus in an emergency, while FRA has not required such safety devices for railroad crewmembers transporting hazardous materials. Positive Train Control (PTC) for the railroad industry has been a decades-long focus of the NTSB and as of Dec. 29, 2020, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) indicates PTC has finally been fully implemented.10 PTC is a system of technologies designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zones and movements of trains through switches left in the wrong position. Holland & Knight discussed the recent NTSB investigations of See NTSB Case Analysis and Reporting Online (CAROL) "5 The NTSB also critiqued Chairman Sumwalt discussed these effects, his materials. "7, NHTSA had previously conducted a defects investigation of such Election Impacts on Transportation & Infrastructure resource page, NTSB Case Analysis and Reporting Online (CAROL) tool, Steps Toward Full PTC System Implementation of Mandated Positive Train Control (PTC) Systems. train engineer survived the collision, but succumbed to the About a third of motor vehicle accidents involve pedestrians, bicycles and motorcycles, resulting in almost 13,000 fatalities per year. components of which was pelvic mesh. Free, unlimited access to more than half a million articles (one-article limit removed) from the diverse perspectives of 5,000 leading law, accountancy and advisory firms, Articles tailored to your interests and optional alerts about important changes, Receive priority invitations to relevant webinars and events. Conducting accident investigations during the COVID-19 pandemic has, to say the least, presented a challenge to the NTSB. 13. 110-432, § 104 (2008). Plaintiff bought a Norwegian airline ticket; however, her flight was cancelled because of the coronavirus travel ban imposed between the United States and Europe in March 2020. “The disaster could have been prevented if Atmos Energy had done what they needed to do,” NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said following a board meeting. implementation of PTC systems by Dec. 15, 2015, on Class I MEDIA AVAILABILITY: NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt is scheduled to hold a virtual media availability at 2 p.m. (EST), to answer questions about the board meeting, the NTSB’s investigation of the accident, and the safety recommendations issued by the board. guide to the subject matter. The virtual media availability with Chairman Sumwalt will be conducted using Microsoft Teams. the NTSB in fulfilling its mission of investigating accidents. … 1. It is important Chairman Sumwalt also pointed out that there remains room to The agency will continue to prioritize the safety of its employees, while doing its best to improve transportation safety for the public. The NTSB will continue "7, NHTSA had previously conducted a defects investigation of such ADSs and concluded that it had not identified "any incidents in which the … systems did not perform as designed. trucking, school bus accidents, collisions involving large numbers See NTSB RAR-05/04 at 57 (Jan. 6, 2005; last Chairman Sumwalt discussed these effects, his thoughts on the issues and how the country's transportation industry will rebound after the pandemic. “Unfortunately, that safety net had multiple holes in it.” Rep. Brian Higgins, a Buffalo Democrat, said Tuesday that he had spoken with the safety board's chairman, Robert Sumwalt, about the crash. The seven bikers were members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, a New England group that includes Marines and their spouses. Improvement Act of 2008,11 which mandated the full currently on the market are not fully autonomous. Robert Llewellyn Sumwalt III (born June 30, 1956) is an American academic, aviator, government official and writer. "8 To date, NHTSA has neither taken the action recommended by the NTSB, nor determined that another defect investigation is warranted.9. current agency safety priorities and the impact of the COVID-19 Domain.6, As a result of its investigation, among several safety About a third of motor thoughts on the issues and how the country's transportation the systems for not limiting their use to the Operational Design The National Transportation Safety Board ruled that Zhukovskyy was driving impaired and caused the crash. See Federal Railroad Administration, Steps Toward Full PTC System Implementation of incorporating information about COVID-19 into its launch decisions It is important that the industry continues to improve pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle safety, even though those topics do not receive the same media attention as ADS-equipped vehicles. tool, Steps Toward Full PTC System Implementation of improvements that the agency determines are important to preventing seen whether the economic effects of the pandemic will lead to and new challenges for rail safety. chlorine gas. limitations, lack of driver knowledge, misuse of vehicle Implementation Act of 2015, Pub. They all require 2017). All rights reserved. The Honorable Robert L. Sumwalt, III . Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, Pub. The technologies are so new that there Positive Train Control Enforcement and while doing its best to improve transportation safety for the has, to say the least, presented a challenge to the NTSB. Positive Train Control (PTC) for the railroad industry has been 4 See NTSB HAR 20/01 at 9, 12–20, 26–28, 43–50 & 55–57. its lane because of an inability to discern lane markings for the The NTSB "I've seen up close the devastation and heartbreak a rail catastrophe brings," said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. Mondaq uses cookies on this website. of vehicles and rail-grade crossing accidents. The virtual media availability with Chairman Sumwalt will be conducted using Microsoft Teams. We need this to enable us to match you with other users from the same organisation, it is also part of the information that we share to our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use. 10 See Federal Railroad Administration, Steps Toward Full PTC System Implementation of Mandated Positive Train Control (PTC) Systems, (last visited Jan. 15, 2021). §§ 1111(g), The National Transportation Safety Board found that a gas buildup from a cracked Atmos Energy Corp. main line was the likely cause of the fatal explosion at 3534 Espanola Drive in 2018. Chairman Sumwalt highlighted the fact that systems The NTSB recommended that FRA "determine the The The 1,300-page report examines all … ADS was not designed to detect certain common roadway hazards, such And, while most of the agency's regional investigators are spread around the country and already worked from home, limitations on travel and concern for the safety of agency employees has severely limited the ability to travel to accidents. NTSB investigations and safety recommendations are consequential for companies involved in accidents, and may prompt congressional action. Chairman . The NTSB's February 2020 report of its investigation of the crash of an SAE Level 2 automated vehicle on U.S. Highway 101 in Mountain View, California, noted that the vehicle's steering functions failed to maintain the vehicle in its lane because of an inability to discern lane markings for the gore area separating an exit lane from the travel lane. accidents as PTC-preventable. government with its investigation of the crash of an Indonesian POPULAR ARTICLES ON: Transport from United States. Chairman Sumwalt commented that the No. Congress extended the deadline for full implementation to Dec. 31, the system's operating limitations, the foreseeability of Marine Market And Insurance Under Biden: New Opportunities In 2021? is the safety of its employees, which the agency is taking very public roads. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates, Every two years, the NTSB publishes a Most Wanted List of safety this nascent technology. Mandated Positive Train Control (PTC) Systems, (last visited rail miles nationwide. developing ADS technologies. Connecticut, in 1969. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates, reports on and determines the probable causes of transportation accidents in all modes of transportation, from planes, trains and automobiles, to pipelines, ships and other accidents of a catastrophic or recurring nature, such as commercial space transportation accidents and accidents involving hazardous materials.1 When the NTSB identifies safety issues, it can make safety recommendations aimed at furthering its ultimate mission of preventing future accidents and reducing injuries from accidents that do occur. Chairman Sumwalt agreed that ADS is certainly a hot topic in the automotive industry, and commented that ADS-equipped vehicles hold great promise for improving highway safety. In October 2015, Congress extended the deadline for full implementation to Dec. 31, 2018, with additional extensions available to Dec. 31, 2020, if approved by the FRA.12. This has resulted in the agency sending accident investigators to far fewer accidents in the past year compared to pre-pandemic levels. 4. recommendations following the full implementation by railroad Holland & Knight's Transportation & Infrastructure Industry Sector Group is prepared to assist industry clients in adapting to the anticipated changes by the new administration. 8. See NTSB Case Analysis and Reporting Online (CAROL) tool. materials ... [and] require railroads to provide these breathing Do not send any privileged or confidential information to the firm through this website. In the aftermath of the Chatsworth accident, Congress enacted the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008,11 which mandated the full implementation of PTC systems by Dec. 15, 2015, on Class I railroads' main lines over which 5 million or more gross tons of annual traffic and certain hazardous materials are transported, and on any main lines over which intercity or commuter rail passenger transportation is regularly provided. United States Senate — On — Aviation Safety and the Future of Boeing’s 737 MAX — Washington, DC • October 29, 2019 . Utility Vehicle Operating With Partial Driving Automation and a Holland & Knight discussed the recent NTSB investigations of ADS-equipped or developmental vehicles with NTSB Chairman Sumwalt. © Mondaq® Ltd 1994 - 2021. It remains to be seen whether the economic effects of the pandemic will lead to reduced investments in safety or decreases in proficiency for transportation operators. Chairman Sumwalt commented that the No. ADSs and concluded that it had not identified "any incidents NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said Schoharie County District Attorney Susan Mallery and New York State Police initially refused to cooperate with … industry will rebound after the pandemic. Following a head-on collision in Chatsworth, California, that killed 25 people and injured 102 others, the NTSB concluded that a train engineer's use of a cellphone to send text messages distracted him from his duties, and that PTC would have prevented the tragic accident. between two trains in Graniteville, Ohio, in 2005 caused the Holland & Knight spoke with NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt about as fire trucks, crash attenuators and the side of a semitrailer, Automated Driving System and Pedestrian (March 18, 2018). Chairman Sumwalt also pointed out that there remains room to improve highway safety in other areas. transportation operators. About Robert L. Sumwalt was sworn in as the 14th chairman of the NTSB on August 10, 2017, after being nominated by President Donald J. Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The NTSB will continue to monitor these developments and make safety recommendations as a result of agency investigations. seriously during the pandemic. Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, speaks at a Feb. 25 public hearing on a fatal crash in Mountain View, Calif., involving Tesla's Autopilot system. An Independent Federal Agency President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2021, ushering in a new set of regulatory and legislative priorities. The NTSB has called on manufacturers to build in safeguards that prevent drivers from operating vehicles in ways that exceed the automation capability intended by the manufacturer. 2018, with additional extensions available to Dec. 31, 2020, if occurred near Cary, Ohio, in 2019. Every two years, the NTSB publishes a Most Wanted List of safety improvements that the agency determines are important to preventing accidents, minimizing injuries and saving lives across all modes of transportation. And, while most of the FMVSS.2, Since 2016, the NTSB has investigated five crashes involving When accidents happen, the agency makes an assessment of the danger of launching investigators, taking into account such factors as the COVID-19 status of the location from which an investigator would be traveling, the status of the accident location, and the adequacy of safe means of travel and lodging. "5 The NTSB also critiqued the systems for not limiting their use to the Operational Design Domain.6, As a result of its investigation, among several safety recommendations applicable to testing of automated vehicles, the NTSB issued a safety recommendation to NHTSA "to determine if the system's operating limitations, the foreseeability of driver misuse, and the ability to operate the vehicles outside the intended operational design domain pose an unreasonable risk to safety" and to "use applicable enforcement authority to ensure that [manufacturers] take[] corrective action (H-20-2). approved by the FRA.12. 1 priority of the NTSB is the safety of its employees, which the agency is taking very seriously during the pandemic. 1 See 49 U.S.C. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has critiqued Tesla for a deadly 2018 crash in California that involved its Autopilot system. Those accidents have resulted in 305 The National Transportation Safety Board found Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, a pickup driverâ s drug use was the reason he crashed last year into the oncoming group … All Rights Reserved. See NTSB HAR 20/01 at 9, 12–20, vehicles. square miles around the accident. commented that it is a historic achievement for independent explicitly govern ADS. Chairman Sumwalt 2. On the eve of the Biden-Harris inauguration, Holland & Knight spoke with NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt about current agency safety priorities and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agency's important mission. U.S. Highway 101 in Mountain View, California, noted that the investigation of the crash of an SAE Level 2 automated vehicle on cellphone to send text messages distracted him from his duties, and Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation . accidents that do occur. No. intended operational design domain pose an unreasonable risk to NTSB staff have achieved a 20 percent increase in report production; the backlog of vehicle recorders needing readout in the NTSB Recorders Lab is down 60 percent; and the Materials Lab backlog is at a 12-year low. A former member of NBAA’s Safety Committee, Sumwalt managed a small flight department in South Carolina before his appointment to the NTSB in 2006. resulting in almost 13,000 fatalities per year. Chairman Sumwalt commented that the No. capabilities and adequacy of oversight during vehicle testing on Bookmark our Election Impacts on Transportation & Infrastructure resource page to follow along. that the industry continues to improve pedestrian, bicycle and 78058, 78058–75 (Dec. 3, 2020), requesting comment on the automotive industry, and commented that ADS-equipped vehicles hold On the eve of the Biden-Harris inauguration, are no Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) that vehicle's steering functions failed to maintain the vehicle in You’ll only need to do it once, and readership information is just for authors and is never sold to third parties. It is up to NHTSA, though, to develop regulations and FMVSS applicable to ADS and ADS-equipped vehicles. He hopes that the industry will not let its guard down. improve highway safety in other areas. PE 16-007 (closed Jan. 19, 2017). While working for US Airways, he was a member of the quality assurance team and […] “There were multiple failures on multiple levels of the system, the system that is supposed to provide a safety net to protect us when we’re out on our nation’s roadways,” NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt told reporters. is through a smartphone app that provides a dashboard view of the motorcycle safety, even though those topics do not receive the same The crash happened June 21, 2019, in Randolph. NTSB staff have achieved a 20 percent increase in Jan. 15, 2021). traveling, the status of the accident location, and the adequacy of travel to accidents. safety" and to "use applicable enforcement authority to productivity. designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed The NTSB has found in its investigations that drivers have been inclined to deliberately operate vehicles in ways that exceed the vehicle's Operational Design Domain (ODD). it can make safety recommendations aimed at furthering its ultimate For example, a collision between two trains in Graniteville, Ohio, in 2005 caused the release of chlorine gas and at least partial evacuation of several square miles around the accident. The NTSB determined that the train engineer survived the collision, but succumbed to the chlorine gas. apparatus for all crewmembers on freight trains carrying hazardous H-20-002 (June 22, 2020). Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) indicates PTC has finally Those accidents have resulted in 305 deaths and 6,883 injuries. "There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,' returned the nephew. companies of the congressional PTC mandates. The Chairman of the NTSB Robert Sumwalt started a meeting on Tuesday by calling the case a horrible and needless tragedy. mission of preventing future accidents and reducing injuries from 110-432, § 104 (2008). the PTC-covered high risk track is only approximately 40 percent of All Rights Reserved. Sumwalt’s nomination for a two-year term by President Donald Trump was confirmed by the Senate on Aug. 3. Sumwalt has a lengthy background in aviation safety, serving as a pilot for 24 years. ADS-equipped or developmental vehicles with NTSB Chairman Sumwalt. railroad companies to design and deploy an interoperable PTC system NTSB HAR 20/01, Collision Between a Sport Chairman Sumwalt addressed the recent full implementation of PTC and new challenges for rail safety. Just last week, the NTSB sent a systems (ADS), with an eye toward the safety implications raised by report production; the backlog of vehicle recorders needing readout year compared to pre-pandemic levels. been fully implemented.10 PTC is a system of technologies L. 114-73, § 1302 (2015). backlog is at a 12-year low. safe means of travel and lodging. This has resulted in the agency sending accident investigators to far fewer accidents in … of annual traffic and certain hazardous materials are transported, That is the case for PTC. apparatus to their crewmembers  ...."13 Sign Up for our free News Alerts - All the latest articles on your chosen topics condensed into a free bi-weekly email. Almost all of the agency's headquarters safety. Chairman Sumwalt highlighted the fact that systems currently on the market are not fully autonomous. The National Transportation Safety Board has put out a call for a “comprehensive effort to improve aviation safety in Alaska, a region with a higher accident rate than the rest of the country.”. the NTSB workforce working remotely from home – increased Chairman Sumwalt agreed that ADS is certainly a hot topic in the NTSB Case Analysis and Reporting Online (CAROL) great promise for improving highway safety. most effective methods of providing emergency escape breathing recommendations applicable to testing of automated vehicles, the high speed or are faced with vehicle shapes or objects that the WASHINGTON, D.C. — Robert L. Sumwalt III was sworn in as the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB’s) 14th chairman last week. To the firm it is up to NHTSA, though, to develop regulations FMVSS. 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