Skip to Main Navigation

The advent of advanced electronic, computer, and communication technologies provides an opportunity for seeking new remedies that can help drivers avoid crashes. The Crash Avoidance and Electronic Controls Research Program is seeking to develop a broad base of understanding that can lead to introduction of advanced crash avoidance systems.


Advanced Technologies

The focus of NHTSA's research on advanced technologies is to evaluate potential benefits of new and existing in-vehicle technologies. This research supports Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and safety defects investigations, advances knowledge about driver behavior, and assists in the development of new vehicle technologies. The advanced technologies that are the subject of NHTSA's research program can be grouped into two categories: vehicle-based systems, such as radar-based collision warning systems; and cooperative vehicle safety systems that use vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems.

Automation & Electronic Systems

Increased use of electronic controls and connectivity is enhancing transportation safety and efficiency. These new technologies may result in new failure mechanisms and cyber vulnerability that are emerging challenges for auto safety. NHTSA recognized these new challenges by adding electronic systems safety as a new area of vehicle safety research.

Heavy Vehicles

Heavy vehicles include trucks and buses with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) rating of 10,000 pounds or more.  These vehicles represent a significant safety challenge for NHTSA, the commercial vehicle industry, and for our Nation.  4,000 fatalities and over 400,000 police-reported crashes involving heavy vehicles occur each year.

Human Factors

The role of human factors research is to provide an understanding of how drivers perform as a system component in the safe operation of vehicles. NHTSA recognizes that driver performance is influenced by many environmental, psychological, and vehicle design factors.


U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
1-800-424-9153 (TTY)