DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government's Highway Safety Administration has launched a new investigation into self-driving systems, this time targeting crashes involving Waymo self-driving cars.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a document detailing the investigation early Tuesday after receiving 22 reports of Waymo vehicles crashing or engaging in actions that may have violated traffic laws. Posted on the website.

The agency appears to be becoming more aggressive in regulating devices, opening at least four investigations last month into vehicles that can drive themselves or perform at least some driving functions.

In investigating Waymo, which was once Google's self-driving car division, the agency said there were 17 reports of crashes and five other possible violations of traffic laws. No injuries were reported.

In the crash, a Waymo vehicle struck a stationary object, such as a gate, chains, or a parked vehicle. Some of the incidents occurred shortly after Waymo's driving system behaved unexpectedly near traffic control equipment, the documents said.

Waymo said NHTSA plays an important role in road safety and it will continue to work with the agency “as part of our mission to be the world's most trusted drivers.”

The company said it makes more than 50,000 trips a week with riders in challenging environments. “We are proud of our performance and safety record spanning tens of millions of miles of autonomous driving, and our proven commitment to safety transparency,” the statement said.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Waymo operates robotaxis in Arizona and California without human safety drivers.

NHTSA announced that it will investigate scenarios similar to the 22 incidents related to Waymo's fifth-generation driving system “to better assess the commonalities between these incidents.”

The agency understands that Waymo's self-driving system was activated throughout each accident, or in some cases involving test vehicles, human drivers deactivated the system shortly before the accident occurred. said.

The study will evaluate the system's performance in detecting and responding to traffic control devices and avoiding collisions with stationary and semi-stationary objects and vehicles, the document said.

Starting in late April, NHTSA began investigating crashes involving self-driving cars operated by Inc.'s Zoox and partially autonomous driving assistance systems provided by Tesla and Ford.

In 2021, the agency ordered all companies with self-driving cars or partially automated systems to report all crashes to the government. The investigation relies heavily on data reported by automakers under the order.

NHTSA is questioning whether last year's recall of Tesla's Autopilot driver-assistance system was effective enough to ensure human drivers were paying attention. NHTSA announced that 467 crashes involving Autopilot were ultimately identified, resulting in 54 injuries and 14 deaths.

In the Ford investigation, authorities are investigating two overnight highway crashes that left three people dead.

Last year, the agency pressured Tesla to recall its “fully self-driving” system, citing the potential for cheating near intersections and consistently failing to obey speed limits.

Despite its name, neither Tesla's Autopilot nor its “fully self-driving” system can drive the vehicle itself, and a human driver must be available to intervene at any time, the company says.

Additionally, NHTSA has moved to set performance standards for autonomous emergency braking systems, requiring them to brake quickly to avoid pedestrians and other vehicles.

This standard follows other studies of automatic braking systems from Tesla, Honda, and Fisker, as they can apply the brakes for no reason, increasing the risk of a crash.

In a 2022 interview, then-NHTSA Administrator Stephen Cliff said NHTSA would increase its oversight of self-driving vehicles, and recently NHTSA has taken further action. NHTSA has not had a Senate-confirmed administrator since Cliff left for the California Air Resources Board in August 2022.

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