U.S. Department of Transportation agencies are looking at addressing such areas as CDL endorsements, hours of service rules and roadside inspections.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on Wednesday issued advance notices of proposed rulemaking on the removal of unnecessary regulatory barriers to the safe introduction of automated driving system (ADS) vehicles in the United States.
NHTSA and FMCSA are seeking comments at this stage to ensure that all potential approaches are fully considered as the agencies move forward with these regulatory actions.
“One of the department’s priorities is to prepare for the future by engaging with new technology while addressing legitimate public concerns about safety, security and privacy, without hampering innovation,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
NHTSA seeks comment on identifying and addressing regulatory barriers to the deployment of ADS vehicles posed by certain existing federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS). The agency also is interested in hearing from the public on various approaches that could be used to measure compliance with the FMVSS for vehicles without conventional controls, including steering wheels and brake pedals.
The advance notice of proposed rulemaking released by FMCSA seeks public comment on questions regarding several key regulatory areas to better understand how changes to its rules can account for significant differences between human operators and ADS. These questions focus on topics such as requirements of human drivers; CDL endorsements; hours of service rules; medical qualifications; distracted driving; safe driving, inspection, repair and maintenance; roadside inspections; and cybersecurity.
“Our mission is to protect Americans on our roads,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King (pictured above). “As automated driving systems develop, NHTSA will continue to adapt to make sure the agency is equipped to ensure public safety while encouraging innovation.”
FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez said, “FMCSA is hoping to receive feedback from commercial motor vehicle stakeholders and the motoring public on how the agency should adapt its regulations for the development of increased automated driving systems in large trucks and buses. We know that while many of these technologies are still in development, it is critical that we carefully examine how to make federal rules keep up with this advancing technology.”
Both notices will have a 60-day comment period, which commences with the ANPRM’s formal publication in the Federal Register. The public is strongly encouraged to submit their comments to the Federal Register dockets.
An advance copy of the FMCSA document is available here. An advance copy of the NHTSA document is available here.