Feds Signal Support for Growth of Self-Driving Trucks

Originally published by: Go By Truck Global NewsMay 24, 2019

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued advance notices of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on the removal of unnecessary barriers to the introduction of automated driving systems (ADS) in the United States.

A semi truck driving on a highway

The NHTSA and FMCSA are both seeking comments at this stage to ensure that all approaches are considered as the agencies proceed with 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 Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The NHTSA seeks comment on identifying and addressing regulatory obstacles to the deployment and implementation of ADS vehicles posed by specific Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS).

According to TheTrucker.com. the FMCSA’s ANPRM seeks comments on several key regulatory areas “to better understand how changes to its rules can account for significant differences between human operators and ADS.”

These key areas include; CDL endorsements; hours-of-service rules; medical qualifications; distracted driving; safe driving; inspection; repair and maintenance; roadside inspections; and cybersecurity.

NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King, said, “Our mission is to protect Americans on our roads. As automated driving systems develop, NHTSA will continue to adapt to make the agency is equipped to ensure public safety while encouraging innovation.”

“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 advancing technology,” said FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez.