U.S. DOT Takes Steps To Speed Deployment Of Autonomous Vehicles, Wants Your Comments

Washington D.C. – One day after autonomous technology maker TuSimple announced it would be conducting a test of its vehicles for the United States Postal Service (USPS), the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued advance notices of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to remove “unnecessary” regulations slowing the deployment of automated driving systems (ADS).

In an announcement on Wednesday, NHTSA and FMCSA said they are seeking comments 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’s ANPRM 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 said it is also 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.


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The ANPRM 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.

“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,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.

 

He continued, “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.

 


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