Autonomous regulations comment period extended through late August

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Update – Wednesday, July 31: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced in a Federal Register notice that is has extended the comment period for the advance notice of proposed rulemaking that seeks comments about regulations regarding autonomous trucks.

The new comments deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 28. FMCSA says it received a request from the American Trucking Associations and U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Technology Engagement Center to extend the comment period for 30 days, “stating that the additional time was needed to coordinate with and gather information from members and more usefully respond to the detailed questions posed in the ANPRM.”

Comments can be made here.

Original story follows:

Trucking industry stakeholders can comment on two pre-rules from the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding the regulatory path to integrating autonomous trucks and cars onto public roads.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have each published advance notices of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register that seek public comment about regulations that may need to be amended, revised or eliminated to allow the introduction of autonomous vehicles to U.S. highways.

Those interested can comment on FMCSA’s notice here through July 29. The agency is asking the public to comment the following topics regarding autonomous trucks:

  • Do the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require a human driver?
  • CDL endorsements for automated driving system (ADS) operators
  • Hours of service rules for ADS operators
  • Medical qualifications for ADS operators
  • Distracted driving and monitoring
  • Safe driving
  • Inspection, repair and maintenance of ADS-equipped trucks
  • Roadside inspections of ADS-equipped vehicles
  • Cybersecurity
  • Confidentiality of shared information

There are a number of questions under each topic, which can be seen in Section XI of the ANPRM here.

The comment period of NHTSA’s notice is open here through July 29. NHTSA’s notice extends beyond trucks and covers passenger vehicles. The agency is seeking public input on the near- and long-term challenges of testing and verifying compliance with existing crash avoidance Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for ADS-equipped vehicles that do not have traditional manual controls for a human driver to maneuver the vehicle.

NHTSA says its goal with this ANPRM is to use the information it gathers from it, as well as its other research efforts, to develop a proposal to amend the crash avoidance FMVSS.

Specifically, NHTSA says it is interested in comments about different approaches to revising crash avoidance test procedures. The agency lists a number of questions in Section VI of the notice about how it can or should test crash avoidance systems in vehicles that are not equipped with manual controls.

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