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What impact will automated trucks have on current safety regs? FMCSA seeks input

blue semi truck
Photo: vitpho/iStockphoto

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is asking for input on how existing regulations for commercial motor vehicles may need to be changed, updated or eliminated to further the safe testing and deployment of CMVs equipped with automated driving systems.

In a notice published in the March 26 Federal Register, FMCSA asks for feedback on a review, conducted by the Department of Transportation’s John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, of whether current FMCSA regulations may negatively affect the integration of automated driving systems in CMVs. FMCSA also is seeking information from ADS designers, developers and integrators to help the agency understand how the current regulations may affect ADS-equipped CMVs in the future.

FMCSA is particularly interested in how ADS-equipped CMVs are affected by regulations on:
Inspection, repair and maintenance: How should automated driving systems be inspected? Should there be minimum requirements for personnel who work on automated driving systems in CMVs?
Roadside and annual inspections: How do roadside inspectors identify CMVs capable of various levels of automated operation (fully automated or partially)? Should CMVs with automated driving systems be marked to show the level of automated operation they are designed to reach, or would such markings cause other road users to interact negatively with ADS-equipped CMVs?
Distracted driving and driver monitoring (prohibition against using handheld devices and texting): How do different levels of automation affect fatigue monitoring? Should the human driver be allowed to use handheld devices when the ADS has complete control? Should the ADS require the human driver to “check in” with input to prove his or her alertness?
Medical qualifications: What medical conditions currently precluding issuance of a medical card could become inapplicable as ADS technology develops?
Hours of service for drivers: How should drivers’ HOS be recorded if the ADS is relied on to perform some or all of the driving tasks?
Commercial driver’s license endorsements: How will human driver training adjust to the use of ADS-equipped CMVs?

The deadline to submit comments is May 10.

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