New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), 68604-68618 [2015-28052]

Download as PDF 68604 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 214 / Thursday, November 5, 2015 / Notices jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Materials, 206 Door Locks and Door Retention Components, 207 Seating Systems, 209 Seat Belt Assemblies, 210 Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages, 212 Windshield Mounting, 214 Side Impact Protection, 216 Roof Crush Resistance, 219 Windshield Zone Intrusion, 225 Child Restraint Anchorage Systems, 301 Fuel System Integrity, and 302 Flammability of Interior Materials. The petitioner also contends that the vehicles are capable of being readily altered to meet the following standards, in the manner indicated: Standard No. 101 Controls and Displays: Replacement of the speedometer with the U.S.-model part, which includes the BRAKE telltale, and reprogramming of the speedometer. Standard No. 138 Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems: Verification that programming matches U.S.-model programming. Standard No. 208 Occupant Crash Protection: A U.S.-version of the owner’s manual must be provided with the vehicle to meet the information requirements of the standard. Verification will be performed that programming of automatic restraint systems matches U.S.-model programming. The petitioner additionally states that a vehicle identification plate must be affixed to the vehicle near the left windshield post to meet the requirements of 49 CFR part 565. The petitioner also states that each vehicle will be inspected prior to importation for compliance with 49 CFR part 541 and modified if necessary. All comments received before the close of business on the closing date indicated above will be considered, and will be available for examination in the docket at the above addresses both before and after that date. To the extent possible, comments filed after the closing date will also be considered. Notice of final action on the petition will be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority indicated below. Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(A), (a)(1)(B), and (b)(1); 49 CFR 593.7; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8. Jeffrey M. Giuseppe, Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2015–0006] New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final decision. AGENCY: On January 28, 2015, NHTSA published a notice requesting comments on the agency’s intention to recommend various vehicle models that are equipped with automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems that meet the agency’s performance criteria to consumers through the agency’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) and its Web site, www.safercar.gov. These systems can enhance the driver’s ability to avoid or mitigate rear-end crashes. This notice announces NHTSA’s decision to include AEB technologies as part of NCAP Recommended Advanced Technology Features, if the technologies meet NCAP performance criteria. The specific technologies included are crash imminent braking (CIB) and dynamic brake support (DBS). DATES: These changes to the New Car Assessment Program are effective for the 2018 Model Year vehicles. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical issues: Dr. Abigail Morgan, Office of Crash Avoidance Standards, Telephone: 202–366–1810, Facsimile: 202–366–5930, NVS–122. For NCAP issues: Mr. Clarke Harper, Office of Crash Avoidance Standards, email: Clarke.Harper@DOT.GOV, Telephone: 202–366–1810, Facsimile: 202–366– 5930, NVS–120. The mailing address for these officials is as follows: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Executive Summary II. Background III. Summary of Request for Comments IV. Response to Comments and Agency Decision A. Harmonization B. Rating System for Crash Avoidance Technologies in NCAP C. Draft Test Procedures D. Proposed Additions to Test Procedures E. Proposed Additions to Test Procedures F. Other Issues V. Conclusion [FR Doc. 2015–28129 Filed 11–4–15; 8:45 am] I. Executive Summary BILLING CODE 4910–59–P This notice announces the agency’s decision to update the U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:06 Nov 04, 2015 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 a recommendation to motor vehicle consumers on vehicle models that have automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems that can substantially enhance the driver’s ability to avoid rear-end crashes. NCAP recommends crash avoidance technologies, in addition to providing crashworthiness, rollover, and overall star ratings. Today, 3 crash avoidance technologies—forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and rearview video systems— are recommended by the agency if they meet NHTSA’s performance specifications. NHTSA is adding AEB as a recommended technology, which means that we now have tests for AEB. AEB refers to either crash imminent braking (CIB), dynamic brake support (DBS), or both on the same vehicle. CIB automatically applies vehicle brakes if the vehicle sensing system anticipates a potential rear impact with the vehicle in front of it. DBS applies more brake power if the sensing system determines that the driver has applied the brakes prior to a rear-end crash but estimates that the amount of braking is not sufficient to avoid the crash. NHTSA is also removing rearview video systems (RVS) as a recommended technology in Model Year 2019, because RVS is going to be required on all new vehicles manufactured on or after May 1, 2018, and that technology’s presence in NCAP will no longer provide comparative information for consumers. The vehicles that have Advanced Technologies recommended by NHTSA may be seen on the agency Web site www.safercar.gov. II. Background The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) provides comparative safety rating information on new vehicles to assist consumers with their vehicle purchasing decisions. In addition to issuing star safety ratings based on the crashworthiness and rollover resistance of vehicle models, the agency also provides additional information to consumers by recommending certain advanced crash avoidance technologies on the agency’s Web site, www.safercar.gov. For each vehicle make/model, the Web site currently shows the vehicle’s 5-star crashworthiness and rollover resistance ratings and whether the vehicle model is equipped with and meets NHTSA’s performance criteria for any of the three advanced crash avoidance safety technologies that the agency currently recommends to consumers. NHTSA began recommending advanced crash avoidance technologies to consumers E:\FR\FM\05NON1.SGM 05NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 214 / Thursday, November 5, 2015 / Notices starting with the 2011 model year.1 NHTSA has under consideration other ways of incorporating crash avoidance technologies into its NCAP program, but those changes are not a part of this notice. The agency first included recommended advanced technologies as part of the NCAP upgrade that occurred as of the 2011 model year. These first technologies were electronic stability control (ESC), forward collision warning (FCW), and lane departure warning (LDW). Subsequently, in 2014, NHTSA replaced ESC, which is now mandatory for all new light vehicles, with another technology, rearview video systems (RVS).2 FCW uses forward looking sensors to detect other vehicles ahead. If the vehicle is getting too close to another vehicle at too high of a speed, it warns the driver of an impending crash so the driver can brake or steer to avoid or mitigate the crash. LDW monitors lane markings on the road and cautions a driver of unintentional lane drift. RVS assists the driver in seeing whether there are any obstructions, particularly a person or people, in the area immediately behind the vehicle. RVS is typically installed in the rear of the vehicle and connected to a video screen visible to the driver. The agency may recommend vehicle technologies to consumers as part of NCAP if the technology: (1) Addresses a major crash problem, (2) is supported by information that corroborates its potential or actual safety benefit, and (3) is able to be tested by repeatable performance tests and procedures to ensure a certain level of performance. Rear-end crashes constitute a significant vehicle safety problem. In a detailed analysis of 2006–2008 crash data,3 NHTSA determined that approximately 1,700,000 rear-end crashes involving passenger vehicles occur each year.4 These crashes result in approximately 1,000 deaths and 700,000 injuries annually. The size of the safety problem has remained consistent since 1 See 73 FR 40016. April 7, 2014, NHTSA published a final rule (79 FR 19177) requiring rearview video systems (RVS). The rule provides a phase-in period that begins on May 1, 2016 and ends on May 1, 2018 when all new light vehicles will be required to be equipped with RVS. As was done with electronic stability control, RVS will no longer be an NCAP recommended technology after May 1, 2018, once RVS is required on all new light vehicles. 3 These estimates were derived from NHTSA’s 2006–2008 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data and non-fatal cases in NHTSA’s 2006– 2008 National Automotive Sampling System General Estimates System (NASS/GES) data. 4 The 1,700,000 total cited in the two NHTSA reports reflects only crashes in which the front of a passenger vehicle impacts the rear of another vehicle. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 2 On VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:06 Nov 04, 2015 Jkt 238001 then. In 2012, the most recent year for which complete data are available, there were a total of 1,663,000 rear-end crashes. These rear-end crashes in 2012 resulted in 1,172 deaths and 706,000 injuries, which represent 3 percent of all fatalities and 30 percent of all injuries from motor vehicle crashes in 2012.5 6 Collectively, NHTSA refers to CIB and DBS systems as automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems. Prior to the development of AEB systems, vehicles were equipped with forward collision warning systems, to warn drivers of pending frontal impacts. These FCW systems sensed vehicles in front, using radar, cameras or both. These CIB and DBS systems can use information from an FCW system’s sensors to go beyond the warning and potentially help avoid or mitigate rear-end crashes. CIB systems provide automatic braking when forward-looking sensors indicate that a crash is imminent and the driver is not braking. DBS systems provide supplemental braking when sensors determine that driver-applied braking is insufficient to avoid an imminent crash. As part of its rear-end crash analysis, the agency concluded that AEB systems would have had a favorable impact on a little more than one-half of rear-end crashes.7 The remaining crashes, which involved circumstances such as high speed crashes resulting in a fatality in the lead vehicle or one vehicle suddenly cutting in front of another vehicle, were not crashes that current AEB systems would be able to address. The agency has conducted test track research to better understand the performance capabilities of these systems. The agency’s work is documented in three reports, ‘‘ForwardLooking Advanced Braking Technologies Research Report’’ (June 2012) 8 ‘‘Automatic Emergency Braking System Research Report’’ (August 2014) 9 and ‘‘NHTSA’s 2014 Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) Test Track Evaluations’’ (May 2015).10 5 See NHTSA’s Traffic Safety Facts 2012, Page 70, http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812032.pdf. 6 The approximately 1,000 deaths per year in 2006–2008 were limited to two-vehicle crashes, as fatal crash data at the time did not contain detailed information on crashes involving three or more vehicles. This information was added starting with the 2010 data year, and the 1,172 deaths in 2012 occurred in crashes involving any number of vehicles. 7 See ‘‘Forward-Looking Advanced Braking Technologies Research Report’’ (June 2012). (http://www.Regulations.gov, NHTSA 2012–0057– 0001), page 12. 8 See http://www.Regulations.gov, NHTSA 2012– 0057–0001. 9 See http://www.Regulations.gov, NHTSA 2012– 0057–0037. 10 DOT HS 812 166. PO 00000 Frm 00114 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68605 AEB technologies were among the topics included in an April 5, 2013 request for comments notice on a variety of potential areas for improvement of NCAP.11 All of those commenting on the subject supported including CIB and DBS in NCAP. None of those submitting comments in response to the request for comments opposed adding CIB and DBS to NCAP. Some commenters stated generally that available research supports the agency’s conclusion that these technologies are effective at reducing rear-end crashes, with some of those commenters citing relevant research they had conducted. No one was specifically opposed to including CIB and DBS in NCAP. The agency found that CIB and DBS systems are commercially available on a number of different production vehicles and these systems can be tested successfully to defined performance measures. NHTSA has developed performance measures that address realworld situations to ensure that CIB and DBS systems address the rear-end crash safety. The agency believes that systems meeting these performance measures have the potential to help reduce the number of rear-end crashes as well as deaths and injuries that result from these crashes. Therefore, the agency is including CIB and DBS systems in NCAP as recommended crash avoidance technologies on www.safercar.gov. III. Summary of Request for Comments The January 28, 2015 request for comments notice that preceded this document sought public comment in the following four areas. Draft test procedures: • General response to the draft test procedures; • Whether or not the draft test procedures’ combination of test scenarios and test speeds provide an accurate representation of real-world CIB and DBS system performance; • Whether or not any of the scenarios in the draft test procedures can be removed while still ensuring that the procedures still reflect an appropriate level of system performance—if so, which scenarios and why they can be removed; • Whether or not the number of test trials per scenario can be reduced—if so, why and how; and • How the draft test procedures can be improved—if so, which specific improvements are needed. The strikeable surrogate vehicle (SSV) designed by NHTSA and planned for use in CIB and DBS testing: 11 See http://www.Regulations.gov, NHTSA 2012– 0180. E:\FR\FM\05NON1.SGM 05NON1 68606 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 214 / Thursday, November 5, 2015 / Notices jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES • Whether or not there are specific elements of the SSV that would make it inappropriate for use in the agency’s CIB and DBS performance evaluations— if so, what those elements are and why they represent a problem; and • Whether or not the SSV will meet the needs for CIB and DBS evaluation for the foreseeable future—if not, why not, and what alternatives should be considered and why. The planned DBS brake application strategy: • Whether the two brake application methods defined in the DBS test procedure, those based on displacement or hybrid control, provide NHTSA with enough flexibility to accurately assess the performance of all DBS systems; and • What specific refinements, if any, are needed to either application method? CIB and DBS research: • The agency wanted to know whether there is any recent research concerning CIB and DBS systems that is not reflected in the agency’s research to date and, if so, what is that research Twenty-one comments were received.12 Most of the comments were from the automobile industry—vehicle manufacturers, associations of vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, and associations of suppliers. In addition, comments were received from another Federal government entity, an organization of insurance companies, and an association of motorcycle interests. Those in support included Advocates, Alliance, AGA, ASC, Bosch, CU, Continental, DENSO, Ford, Infineon, IIHS, Malik, MBUSA, MEMA, NADA, NTSB, Tesla, and TRW. Advocates supported using NCAP to encourage vehicle safety technologies, but indicated its preference for requiring AEB systems on new vehicles by regulation. Honda expressed its support for NCAP generally, but did not specifically support the addition of AEB systems to NCAP. Honda stated that it 12 See http://www.Regulations.gov, NHTSA– 2015–0006 for complete copies of comments submitted. Those submitting comments were: Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance), American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (Honda), American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), Association of Global Automakers, Inc. (AGA), Automotive Safety Council, Inc. (ASC), Consumers Union (CU), Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. (Continental), DENSO International America, Inc. (DENSO), Ford Motor Company (Ford), Infineon Technologies (Infineon), Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Malik Engineering Corp. (Malik), Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA), Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Robert Bosch, LLC (Bosch), Subaru of America (Subaru), Tesla, and TRW Automotive (TRW). VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:06 Nov 04, 2015 Jkt 238001 would like these systems to be rated. IIHS said that its research on the effectiveness of Volvo’s City Safety system and Subaru’s Eyesight system indicates that NHTSA may have ‘‘vastly underestimated the benefit of AEB.’’ Bosch said a 2009 study it conducted indicated DBS ‘‘may be effective’’ in reducing injury-related rear-end crashes by 58 percent and CIB by 74 percent. The ASC, Bosch, IIHS, MEMA, and, TRW addressed the desirability of NHTSA harmonizing its AEB NCAP test procedures and other evaluation criteria with other consumer information/rating programs, particularly Euro NCAP. Other commenters urged harmonization with Euro NCAP with respect to specific details. Many commenters (Alliance, AGA, ASC, Continental, Ford, Honda, IIHS, MEMA) stated that they would like NHTSA to harmonize the SSV used in NCAP with the target vehicle used in Euro NCAP Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS) tests. Commenters also asked for harmonization with specific technical areas such as brake application magnitude and rate, brake burnishing and test speeds. NHTSA plans to establish minimum performance criteria in the two test procedures for CIB and DBS to be recommended to consumers in NCAP. Comments on these test procedures were broad and very detailed. Advocates suggested stronger criteria. Manufacturers suggested changes to various parts of the test procedures. Several commenters argued against the introduction of another SSV to the vehicle testing landscape and urged NHTSA to adopt a preexisting SSV instead to avoid imposing added vehicle testing costs on the vehicle manufacturing industry. Specifically, AGA, ASC, Continental, Ford, Honda, IIHS, and Tesla asked NHTSA to specify the Allgemeiner Deutscher AutomobilClub e.V. (ADAC) target vehicle that is used by Euro NCAP and IIHS. Bosch supported harmonization of surrogate test vehicles generally. The Alliance asked for further development of the SSV equipment and tow frame structure to eliminate the use of the lateral restraint track. The association asked that NHTSA harmonize the SSV propulsion system with that of the ADAC propulsion system used by Euro NCAP. The Alliance said that since the new SSV is not readily available, its members have not been able to conduct a full set of tests to assess the repeatability and reproducibility of the SSV relative to the ADAC barrier or PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 other commercially available test targets. The Alliance requested additional clarification about the SSV initial test set-up to maintain the intended accuracy and repeatability of tests. Members of the Alliance also requested clarification regarding the definition of the target ‘‘Zero Position’’ coupled with the use of deformable foam at the rear bumper. Other SSV concerns raised by AGA were that the energy absorption of the SSV should be increased to minimize potential damage to the subject vehicle in the event of an impact, that the color of the lateral restraint track used in conjunction with the SSV be changed to avoid its being interpreted as being a lane marking by camera-based classification of lanes, that the possibility that the SSV could be biased toward radar systems, and how the SSV may appear to camera systems in various lighting conditions. Some of the comments went beyond the changes discussed in the January 2015 notice. The AMA said that all AEB systems included in NCAP should be able to detect and register a motorcycle. If not, vehicle operators may become dependent on these new technologies and cause a crash, because the system did not detect and identify a smaller vehicle. Advocates, AGA, Bosch, CU, Continental, Honda, IIHS, MEMA, and NTSB said they would like a rating system for advanced crash avoidance technologies, including CIB and DBS, which reflects systems’ effectiveness. Honda urged NHTSA to include pedestrian and head-on crashes among the types of crashes that are covered by NCAP evaluation of AEB systems in the future. IV. Response to Comments and Agency Decisions The majority of comments received were from the automobile industry. No commenter opposed including AEB systems in NCAP. By including CIB and DBS systems in NCAP as Recommended Advanced Technologies, we will be providing consumers with information concerning advanced safety systems on new vehicles offered for sale in the United States. The vehicle models that meet the NCAP performance tests offer effective countermeasures to assist the driver in avoiding or mitigating rear-end crashes. In addition, the agency believes recognizing CIB and DBS systems that meet NCAP’s performance measures will encourage consumers to purchase vehicles that are equipped with these systems and manufacturers will have an incentive to offer more vehicles with these systems. E:\FR\FM\05NON1.SGM 05NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 214 / Thursday, November 5, 2015 / Notices jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Comments focused on the details of how the inclusion of AEB systems into NCAP should be administered. The agency’s responses to the comments received are below. A. Harmonization The Alliance, AGA, ASC, Continental, Ford, Honda, IIHS, and MEMA stated that they would like NHTSA to harmonize the SSV used in NCAP with the target vehicle used in Euro NCAP. Some commenters requested that NHTSA use the Euro NCAP towing system. They also wanted similar performance criteria, such as identical test scenarios, identical speeds, and identical tolerances. NHTSA has carefully examined Euro NCAP specification and procedures for AEB technologies. The agency has decided against redirecting the program toward harmonization for several reasons, as discussed in more detail below. For AEB systems and their application to the U.S. market, NHTSA’s benefit estimation and test track performance evaluations began five years ago. This work is documented in three reports, ‘‘Forward-Looking Advanced Braking Technologies Research Report’’ (June 2012), ‘‘Automatic Emergency Braking System Research Report’’ (August 2014), and ‘‘NHTSA’s 2014 Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) Test Track Evaluations’’ (May 2015) with accompanying draft CIB and DBS test procedures. Early into its test track AEB evaluations, NHTSA staff members met with representatives of Euro NCAP. Among the matters discussed at that time was the need for a realisticappearing, robust test target that accurately emulated an actual vehicle. Specific attributes included a need to (1) be ‘‘realistic’’ (i.e., be interpreted the same as an actual vehicle) to systems using radar, lidar, cameras, and/or infrared sensors to assess the potential threat of a rear-end crash; (2) be robust (able to withstand repeated impacts with little to no change in shape over time); (3) not impose harm to the test driver(s) or damage to the test vehicle under evaluation; and (4) be capable of being accurately and repeatably constructed. Euro NCAP, as of 2014, included AEB systems in the technologies it rates in its ‘‘Safety Assist’’ assessments. The ratings for ‘‘Safety Assist’’ systems are in turn combined with ratings for adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, and pedestrian protection to determine a vehicle’s overall rating. Euro NCAP assessments of AEB systems adopted the use of a target vehicle VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:06 Nov 04, 2015 Jkt 238001 developed by ADAC. Known as the Euro NCAP Vehicle Target (EVT), this target is comprised of an inflatable and foambased frame with PVC cover. The outside of the cover features a rearaspect image of an actual car and retroreflective film over the taillights. Internally, the EVT includes a combination of shapes and materials selected to be provide realistic radar return characteristics. To provide longitudinal motion, the EVT is towed. At the time of its initial AEB evaluations, NHTSA attempted to evaluate the EVT device. We attempted to purchase an EVT from ADAC, but we were ultimately unable to obtain the device and its propulsion system. To avoid research program delays, NHTSA decided to develop and manufacturer its own strikeable surrogate vehicle. Like the EVT, the design goal of the NHTSA equipment was to be as safe, realistic, and functional as possible. The NHTSA SSV and tow equipment are both commercially available, and the drawings for the equipment are publicly available. NHTSA has developed a carbon fiber strikeable surrogate vehicle (SSV) that uses original equipment taillights, reflectors, brake lights and a simulated license plate. These features help define the SSV so that it will be interpreted by a vehicle’s AEB sensing system as being an actual vehicle. We believe that the SSV is a target vehicle that better mimics real vehicles than other target vehicles because its radar signature more closely resembles that of an actual vehicle. We will be using the SSV in the AEB validation testing to confirm that AEB systems meet the agency’s performance criteria. Manufacturers do not need to use the SSV to generate and submit data in support of their AEB systems that are recommended to consumers on www.safercar.gov. However, if the vehicle cannot satisfy the minimum performance criteria of the AEB NCAP program when tested by, the vehicle will not be able to retain its credit for the recommendation of AEB system by NCAP. We will continue to look for ways in which U.S. NCAP and other consumer vehicle safety information programs around the world, particularly Australasian NCAP, Euro NCAP and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety can harmonize and complement each other. We expect one of the benefits of the U.S. NCAP and other NCAP programs having different test procedures will be that these programs will eventually have data that could support how best to modify these programs harmonize some elements of PO 00000 Frm 00116 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68607 the programs while retaining other elements that are unique and necessary to each programs. B. Rating System for Cash Avoidance Technologies in NCAP Advocates, AGA, Bosch, CU, Continental, Honda, IIHS, MEMA, and NTSB said they would like a rating system for advanced technologies, including CIB and DBS, which reflects systems’ effectiveness. AGA said CIB and DBS should each be rated separately. AGA pointed out that some CIB and DBS systems already in the marketplace would not pass the NCAP performance criteria, but would still provide safety benefits. AGA stated that information regarding these safety benefits would not reach consumers under the current pass/fail approach. AGA further noted that Euro NCAP gives credit to vehicles for the tests they do pass. In the January 28, 2015 request for comments, the agency sought comment on our plans to add AEB to the list of Recommended Advanced Technologies, a feature which appears on the agency’s Web site www.safercar.gov, but did not seek comments on whether such a rating should appear on motor vehicles. The agency fully recognizes that published requests for comments provide an opportunity for the public to address not only issues specifically raised in the request for comments, but also to express concerns in other areas. We will consider these comments in evaluating future changes to NCAP. C. Draft Test Procedures 13 1. AEB Performance Criteria Stringency While supporting NHTSA’s plan to establish minimum performance criteria that AEB systems must meet to be recommended to consumers in NCAP, Advocates criticized the planned AEB performance criteria as being insufficiently stringent. The Advocates’ comments focused on the speeds at which Euro NCAP testing is conducted, including: • Speeds up to 31 mph (50 kilometers per hour (km/h)) such that 19 percent of the possible points for Euro NCAP AEB are awarded for performance at approach speeds above the planned NHTSA NCAP testing. • Lead vehicle stopped scenarios are tested at subject vehicle speeds of a range of 6 to 31 mph (10 to 50 km/h), as compared with the planned NHTSA NCAP lead vehicle stopped test which will be conducted at a single speed of 13 See http://www.Regulations.gov, NHTSA– 2012–0057–0038 for copies of the test procedures that were the basis of comments received. E:\FR\FM\05NON1.SGM 05NON1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 68608 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 214 / Thursday, November 5, 2015 / Notices 25 mph (40 km/h) and permit impact at speeds up to 15 mph (24 km/h). The Advocates further noted that Euro NCAP is proposing to incorporate additional, more stringent AEB tests and ratings in its star rating system beginning in 2016. These will include: • Lead vehicle stopped scenarios at subject vehicle (SV) speeds up to 50 mph (80 km/h). • Lead vehicle moving slower tests with a SV speed of 19 to 50 mph (30 to 80km/h) approaching a principal other vehicle (POV) moving at 12 mph (20 km/h), for a closing speed of 7 to 38 mph (11 to 61 km/h). Advocates noted that the planned NHTSA approach would include lead vehicle moving slower tests with SV/POV speeds of 25/ 10 mph (40/16 km/h) and 45/20 mph (72/32 km/h), for a maximum closing speed of 25 mph (40 km/h). • Lead vehicle braking tests with SV/ POV speeds at 31/31 mph (50/50 km/h) with a lead vehicle deceleration of 0.2 to 0.6g (2 and 6 meters per second squared [m/s2]). Conversely, the Alliance suggested we reduce the stringency of the performance criteria by deleting the lead vehicle stopped scenarios entirely. The proposed NCAP test scenarios and test speeds are in part based on crash statistics, field operational tests, and testing experience. In developing the scenarios and test speeds for this test program we considered work done to develop the forward collision warning performance tests. In reviewing the information concerning crashes, we noted that the most common rear-end pre-crash scenario is the Lead-VehicleStopped, at 16 percent of all light vehicle rear-end crashes (975,000 crashes per year).14 In evaluating the test speeds we considered the practicality of safely performing crash avoidance testing without damaging test vehicles and/or equipment should an impact with the test target occur during testing. Testing vehicles at speeds over 45 mph (72 km/ h) may have safety and practicality issues. Testing at speeds over 45 mph (72 km/h), the speed used in NCAP’s forward collision warning test, could potentially cause a safety hazard to the test driver and the test engineers. The problem arises if the vehicle being tested fails to perform as expected. For the FCW tests, warning system failure is not a problem because the nature of the test allows the test driver to steer away from the principal other vehicle, without any vehicle-to-vehicle contact. 14 ‘‘Pre-Crash Scenario Typology for Crash Avoidance Research’’, DOT HS 810 767, April 2007, Table 13. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:06 Nov 04, 2015 Jkt 238001 However, for the AEB tests, there can be no evasive steering. At speeds over 45 mph (72 km/h), we believe that the test vehicles in the AEB program might experience frontal impact of the subject vehicle into the principal other vehicle if there is a system failure or speed reduction that does not result in a reduction of velocity of 25 mph (40 km/ h). This may be a hazard to the test drivers and to people around the test track. Also potential front end damage at higher speeds, for the same reasons, may have unacceptable test program delays or make completion of the tests impractical. If front end damage to the test vehicle occurs, the agency would have to repair the test vehicle and recalibrate its sensing system. This might take weeks to repair and to restart the testing. Another upper speed limitation is the practicality of running the tests. For example, the Lead Vehicle Decelerating test becomes difficult. The SSV rides on a 1500-ft (457 m) monorail to constrain its lateral position within the test lane, an attribute that helps improve the accuracy and repeatability that the slower moving and decelerating lead vehicle scenarios may be performed. However, this track length is too short to safely accelerate the SSV to 45 mph (72 km/h), establish a steady state SVto-SSV headway (to insure consistent test input conditions), then safely decelerate the SSV to a stop at 0.3g; conditions like those specified in the FCW NCAP decelerating lead vehicle test scenario. These logistic restrictions have prevented NHTSA from evaluating the durability of the SSV when subjected to the forces of being towed at 45 mph (72 km/h). To address these concerns, the NCAP CIB and DBS Decelerating Lead Vehicle tests are designed to be performed from 35 mph (56 km/h). We believe the test vehicle speeds specified in this program, (25, 35 and 45 mph) (40, 56 and 72 km/h) represent a large percentage of severe injuries and fatalities and represent the upper limit of the stringency of currently available test equipment. We are therefore retaining the test speeds in the test procedures. 2. Brake Activation in DBS Testing, Profile, Rate and Magnitude a) Brake Input Profile Selection The Alliance suggests that because of the differences in DBS design and performance abilities among vehicles (i.e. brake pads and rotors, tires, suspension, etc.), the vehicle manufacturers should be allowed to specify the brake input. (Brake input PO 00000 Frm 00117 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 does not apply to the CIB test because the CIB test does not include brake input in the subject vehicle.) Vehicle manufactures thus far have taken several approaches to DBS system activation based on brake pedal position, force applied, displacement, application rate time-to-collision, or a combination of these characteristics. All of these characteristics can represent how a driver reacts in a panic stop, versus a routine stop. The Alliance suggests the agency should use the same characteristic used by the vehicle manufacturer, to assure the system is activated the way the manufacturer has intended. Conversely they indicate the agency should not dictate a specific application style and create an unrealistic triggering condition. In the previous version of the DBS test procedures (August 2014), commenters pointed out that the brake characterization process used would typically result in decelerations that exceeded the allowable 0.3g. In order to address this concern, NHTSA evaluated a revised characterization process that now include a series of iterative steps designed to more accurately determine the brake application magnitudes capable of achieving the same baseline (braking without the effect of DBS) deceleration of 0.4g for all vehicles. This deceleration level is very close to the deceleration realized just prior to actual rear-end crashes, and is consistent with the application magnitude used by Euro NCAP during its test track-based DBS evaluations. This process is included, in great detail, in the updated version of the DBS test procedure. (b) Brake Application Rate The Alliance pointed out that the brake pedal application rate of 279 mm/s maximum for DBS activation differs from Euro NCAP, where the application rate can be specified by a manufacturer as long as it is within a range of 200 to 400 mm/s (8 to 16 in/s). Noting that there will always be differences in dynamic abilities between vehicles, the Alliance said that specifying the rate to 279 mm/s increases the DBS system’s sensitivity and can lead to more false activations. The Alliance suggested that NCAP harmonize with Euro NCAP to allow manufacturers the option to specify a brake pedal application rate limit beyond 279 mm/s, up to 400 mm/s. MBUSA provided a bit more detail in its comments. MBUSA noted that values above 360 mm/s are more representative of emergency braking situations and will be addressed in vehicle designs using conventional brake assist rather than AEB. E:\FR\FM\05NON1.SGM 05NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 214 / Thursday, November 5, 2015 / Notices jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES In a preliminary version of its DBS test procedure, NHTSA specified a brake application rate of 320 mm/s. Feedback from industry suggested this was too high, indicating it was at or near the application rate used as the trigger for conventional brake assist. This is problematic because the agency wants to provide NCAP credit for DBS, not for conventional brake assist, if the vehicle is so-equipped. To address this problem, the application rate was reduced to 7 in/s (178 mm/s) in the June 2012 draft DBS test procedure. Feedback from vehicle manufactures was that this reduction to 178 mm/s went too low. A system able to activate DBS with such a brake application rate on the test track may potentially result in unintended activations during real-world driving. As an alternative, multiple vehicle manufacturers suggested the application rate be increased to 10 in/s (254 ± 25.4 mm/s). This value was implemented in the August 2014 draft DBS test procedure. The Euro NCAP procedure specifies a range of brake pedal application speed of 7.9 to 15.8 in/s (200–400 mm/s). MBUSA noted that values significantly above 14.2 in/s (360 mm/s) are more representative of emergency braking situations and are addressed by conventional brake assist not using forward looking sensor technology. Information provided over the course of this program has caused us to initially select a value less than 360 mm/s and greater than 178 mm/s. We recommend 254 ± 25.4 mm/s, and we have no substantive basis to change this value again. Moreover, this value is well within the range of the Euro NCAP specification. The value of 254 mm/s appears a reasonable representation of the activation of DBS in an attempt to stop, rather than slow down, but not fast enough to represent an aggressive emergency panic stop of greater than 360 mm/s. We are retaining the proposed values of 254 ± 25.4 mm/s (10 in/s ± 0.1 in/s) for the brake pedal application rate on the DBS test. (c) Brake Application Magnitude The Alliance commented that the braking deceleration threshold should be 0.4g (4.0 m/s2) or higher. Citing Euro NCAP’s specification for pedal displacement to generate a deceleration of 0.4g (4.0 m/s2), The Alliance said using brake performance of at least 0.3g (3 m/s2) deceleration as a threshold for DBS activation, as in the draft NCAP test procedure, will lead to calibrations too sensitive and generate excessive false positives or overreliance on the system. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:06 Nov 04, 2015 Jkt 238001 68609 The Alliance said the threshold for DBS intervention should be toward the upper acceptable deceleration rates for adaptive cruise control systems. These upper rates are up to 0.5g (5 m/s2) at lower speeds and up to 0.35g (3.5 m/s2) at higher speeds. The Alliance believes that a lower position for 0.3g (3 m/s2) will lead to calibrations too sensitive in the real world and will generate excessive false positives or overreliance on the system. MBUSA said NHTSA’s proposed magnitude of 0.3g (3 m/s2) more closely resembles standard braking. It recommended brake pedal application magnitude of near 0.4g (4 m/s2) that truly represents a hazard braking situation. MBUSA said that according to its field test data, the median brake amplitudes that occur ahead of realworld DBS activations are closer to 0.425g (4.3 m/s2). MBUSA noted that for Euro NCAP DBS testing, a brake magnitude of 0.4g (4 m/s2) is used. The brake characterization process described in NHTSA’s August 2014 draft DBS test procedure was intended to provide a simple, practical, and objective way to determine the application magnitudes used for the agency’s DBS system evaluations. In this process, a programmable brake controller slowly applies the SV brake with a pedal velocity of 1 in/s (25 mm/s) from a speed of 45 mph (72 km/h). Linear regression is then applied to the deceleration data from 0.25 to 0.55g to determine the brake pedal displacement and application force needed to achieve 0.3g. These steps are straight-forward and the per-vehicle output is very repeatable. However, when these outputs are used in conjunction with the brake pedal application rate used to evaluate DBS (i.e., rates ten times faster than used for characterization), the actual decelerations typically exceed 0.3g. Although this is not undesirable per se (crash data suggest the braking realized just prior to a rear-end crash is closer to 0.4g), the extent to which these differences exist has been shown to depend on the interaction of vehicle, brake application method, and test speed.15 To address this concern, NHTSA has revised the characterization process to include a series of iterative steps designed to more accurately determine the brake application magnitudes capable of achieving the same baseline (braking without the effect of DBS) deceleration of 0.4g for all vehicles. The deceleration level is very close to the deceleration observed just prior to many actual rear-end crashes,16 and is consistent with the application magnitude used by Euro NCAP during its test track-based DBS evaluations. Vehicle manufacturers have told NHTSA that encouraging DBS systems designed to activate in response to inputs capable of producing 0.4g, not 0.3g, deceleration will reduce the potential for unintended DBS activations from occurring during realworld driving. NHTSA will adopt its revised brake characterization process, and include it as part of the DBS procedure. This process will ensure baseline braking for each test speed, (25, 35, and 45 mph) will be capable of producing 0.4 ± 0.025g. 15 See http://www.Regulations.gov, NHTSA 2012– 0057–0037. 16 See http://www.Regulations.gov, NHTSA 2012– 0057–0037. PO 00000 Frm 00118 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 3. Use of Human Test Driver Versus Braking Robot TRW advocated the use of a human driver in DBS testing to reduce the test setup time and reduce the testing costs. Bosch supports the test procedures as currently written calling for the use of a braking robot in both CIB and DBS testing. While the NHTSA AEB test procedures can be performed with human drivers, satisfying the brake application specifications in the DBS test procedures would be challenging for a human driver. The agency acknowledges that some test drivers are capable of performing most or all of the maneuvers in this program within the specifications in the test procedures. However, we believe a programmable (i.e. robotic) brake controller can more accurately reproduce the numerous braking application specifications debated in this notice. Moreover, as these technologies evolve and the algorithms are refined to create earlier, more aggressive responses to pending crashes, while at the same time avoiding false positives, the specifications for the test parameters may become more complex and more precise. The agency will continue to conduct all of the DBS NCAP tests using a brake robot. Manufacturers, suppliers and test laboratories working for these entities may choose not to use a brake robot, nor do they need to follow the test procedures exactly. However they should be confident their alternative methods demonstrate their systems will pass NHTSA’s tests because NHTSA will conduct confirmation testing as outlined above. If a system fails NHTSA’s confirmation testing, the E:\FR\FM\05NON1.SGM 05NON1 68610 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 214 / Thursday, November 5, 2015 / Notices jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES vehicle in question will not continue to receive credit for its DBS system. 4. Brake Burnishing NHTSA indicated we plan to use the brake burnishing procedure from Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 135, ‘‘Light vehicle brake systems.’’ IIHS said this is more pre-test brake applications than is needed. IIHS said its research shows that brake performance can be stabilized for AEB testing with considerably less effort. It cited a test series of its own involving seven vehicle models with brand new brakes in which AEB performance stabilized after conducting 60 or fewer of the stops prescribed in FMVSS No. 135. IIHS said its AEB test results after all 200 brake burnishing stops were not appreciably different from those conducted after following the abbreviated procedure described in FMVSS No. 126, ‘‘Electronic stability control systems.’’ Ford urged NHTSA to adopt the Euro NCAP’s brake burnishing procedure and tire characterization from the Euro NCAP AEB protocol, which it said can be completed in a few hours. Tesla said the test procedures’ specification for a full FMVSS No. 135 brake burnish is not clearly explained. They asked about how often the burnishing had to be conducted and how the brakes are to be cooled. FMVSS No. 135 ‘‘Light vehicle brake systems’’ is NHTSA’s light vehicle brake performance standard. The purpose of the standard is to ensure safe braking performance under normal and emergency driving conditions. The burnish procedure contained in FMVSS No. 135 is designed to ensure the brakes perform at their optimum level for the given test condition and to ensure that test result variability is minimized. The burnish procedure in FMVSS No. 135 includes 200 stops from a speed of 80 km/h (49.7 mph) with sufficient brake pedal force to achieve a constant deceleration of 3.0 m/s2 (0.3g). It also specifies a brake pad temperature range during testing. The commenters suggested reducing the burnishing for two reasons. First, they want to reduce the testing burden. The IIHS states that their research shows that the foundation brake performance can be stabilized after considerably less effort. Their testing showed performance stabilization after 60 stops. Second, others want the procedure to be harmonized with the Euro NCAP. The Euro NCAP brake burnish procedure includes 13 stops total and a cool-down and is otherwise identical to the brake conditioning in FMVSS No. 126. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:06 Nov 04, 2015 Jkt 238001 The agency has considered these comments. The agency believes that a full 200-stop burnishing procedure is critical to ensuring run-to-run repeatability of braking performance during AEB testing and also ensures that the vehicle’s brakes performance does not change as the test progresses. The intent of the 200-stop burnishing is deemed the appropriate procedure for ensuring repeatability of brake performance in FMVSS No. 135, the agency’s light vehicle brake system safety standard. The performance measured in these AEB tests relies on the vehicle’s braking system to reduce speed in order to mitigate or avoid a crash with the test target. Since the agency has adopted the 200-stop procedure as the benchmark for repeatable brake performance, dropping the number of stops might create a repeatability situation for some brake system designs and therefore a repeatability situation for some AEB systems. Therefore, the agency will test AEB consistently with its light vehicle brake system tests in FMVSS No. 135. Tesla said the need for a full FMVSS No. 135 brake burnish is not clearly explained. They interpreted the test procedure to specify brake burnishing before each and every test run. Tesla misunderstands the test procedure. NHTSA will perform the 200-stop brake burnish only one time prior to any testing unless any brake system pads, rotors or drums are replaced, in which case the 200-stop burnish will be repeated. After the initial burnish, additional lower-speed brake applications are done only to bring the brake temperatures up to the specified temperate range for testing. Tesla also suggested that NHTSA should better explain how, and to what extent, the agency expects the brakes to be cooled before conducting each individual test run and series of runs. Tesla said adding these cooling procedures will have test performance implications. The process of driving the vehicle until the brake cools below a temperature between 65 °C (149 °F) and 100 °C (212 °F) or drive the vehicle for 1.24 miles (2 km), whichever comes first, has been an accepted practice in brake testing such as in FMVSS No. 135 testing. It is the brake temperature at the time of the test, not how that temperature was obtained, that is the reportedly critical characteristic in brake performance. Moreover, specifying an overly-detailed procedure may not result in desired temperature. The amount of heating or cooling may be affected by the vehicle design and the ambient conditions of the testing. PO 00000 Frm 00119 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Alterations in the process may be needed to achieve the temperature range. For the AEB test procedures, NHTSA is maintaining its use of the brake burnish procedure and the initial brake temperature range currently used in its light vehicle brake standard, FMVSS No. 135. 5. Feasibility and Tolerances TRW said the test procedures may not completely cover the control and tolerance around the deceleration of the POV during the Lead Vehicle Decelerating (LVD) portions of the test. It cited as an example, that brakes were applied to a level providing deceleration of 0.3g with a tolerance of +/¥ 0.03g, but the ability to control that parameter was not among the list of items used for the validity of test criteria, nor is it present in the test procedure for how to monitor and control that parameter for test validity. The agency disagrees with TRW that the parameter was not among the list of items used for the validity of a test criteria. The test procedure for this parameter is described in the section titled ‘‘POV Brake Application. The test procedure provided details of this specification, such as the beginning or onset of the deceleration period, the nominal constant deceleration, the time to achieve the 0.3g deceleration, and the average tolerance of the deceleration after the nominal 0.3g deceleration is achieved, and the point at which the measurement is finished. We believe TRW is stating that this description of the deceleration parameters is not itemized in the list of 10 items specified in the section ‘‘SV Approach to the Decelerating POV’’. This list contains items that must be controlled during the entire test, not just during the deceleration period. Since the deceleration does not occur during the entire test we will not be adding the specification to this list. The fact that the specifications are listed makes these deceleration specifications necessary for a valid test, even though the word ‘‘valid’’ does not appear in the section called ‘‘POV Brake Application’’. TRW states that the test procedures do not specify how the test laboratory will monitor the declaration parameters. NHTSA has recommended in Table 2 of the test procedures that the contractor will need to have an accelerometer to measure the longitudinal deceleration of the SV and POV. These instrumentation recommendations include specifications for the range, resolution and accuracy of these instruments. The test procedure does not specify how the contractor is to monitor or control the acceleration E:\FR\FM\05NON1.SGM 05NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 214 / Thursday, November 5, 2015 / Notices during this test. As much as possible, the agency specifies performance specifications, not design specifications. We depend on the expertise of the contractor to achieve these performance goals. We then monitor the output of this performance. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 6. Lead Vehicle Stopped Tests (Scenarios) MEMA supported the planned AEB test scenarios as representative of typical, real-world driving occurrences. It said the scenarios are appropriate ways to evaluate CIB and DBS systems. The Alliance said the lead vehicle stopped test should be deleted and the agency should only uses the lead vehicle deceleration to a stop test because 50 percent of police-reported cases rear-end crashes coded as lead stopped vehicle are actually lead vehicle decelerating to a stop. They argued such a change would permit more affordable systems and would reduce false activations. In the August 2014 research report,17 we adjusted estimates of AEB-relevant rear-end crashes by splitting the estimated number of police-reported lead-vehicle-stopped crashes evenly between lead vehicle stopped and lead vehicle decelerating to a stop. This change was made based on comments to the 2013 AEB request for comments and additional analysis of the crash data. The use of the lead stopped vehicle scenarios is very important. Even if 50 percent of the lead-vehicle stopped crashes are re-classified as lead vehicle decelerating to a stop, hundreds of thousands of lead-vehicle stopped crashes still occur each year. For this reason, and to be consistent with the Euro NCAP tests, NHTSA does not believe it is appropriate to exclude the lead-vehicle stopped scenario from the CIB and DBS performance evaluation. Based on the test track testing we have conducted since 2013, we have found that vehicles able to satisfy our LVS evaluation criteria also do so for the LVD–S test scenario. However, not all vehicles that pass our LVD–S pass the LVS scenarios. Therefore we have decided to reduce the test burden by removing the lead vehicle deceleration to a stop (LVD–S) test and retaining the lead vehicle stopped (LVS) test. 7. False Positive Tests (Scenarios) AGA, ASC and TRW said only radarbased AEB systems will react to NHTSA’s steel trench plate based false positive test, whereas other types of 17 http://www.Regulations.gov, Docket NHTSA– 2012–0057–0037. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:06 Nov 04, 2015 Jkt 238001 systems, camera- and lidar-based for example, will not be affected. AGA said that unless a test that could challenge both camera and radar systems can be identified, the false positive test should be dropped. MEMA also noted that since radar systems are sensitive to the steel trench plate false positive test, this may impact the comparative nature of radar versus other systems such as camera or lidar sensors. MEMA encouraged NHTSA to evaluate the procedure and continue to make further improvements to avoid any potential test bias. TRW suggested two other possible false positive tests, one that would reflect ‘‘the most typically observed false-positive AEB event’’ a dynamic passing situation and the other in which the test vehicle drives between two stationary vehicles. Bosch said there is no single test that will fully address the problem of false activations. The Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership (CAMP) Crash Imminent Braking (CIB) Consortium endeavored to define minimum performance specifications and objective tests for vehicles equipped with FCW and CIB systems. While assessing the performance of various system configurations and capabilities, the CAMP CIB Consortium also identified real-world scenarios capable of eliciting a CIB false positive.18 Additionally, two scenarios from an ISO 22839 ‘‘Intelligent transport systems—forward vehicle collision mitigation systems— Operation, performance, and verification requirements’’ (draft) were used to evaluate false positive tests, two tests with vehicles in an adjacent lane. The CAMP study originally documented real world situations that could be used to challenge the performance of the systems, such as an object in roadway, an object in a roadway at a curve entrance or exit, a roadside stationary object, overhead signs, bridges, short radius turns, non-vehicle and vehicle shadows, and target vehicles turning away.19 NHTSA performed a test program of six of the CAMP-identified scenarios that could produce a positive. The eight maneuvers selected and tested by NHTSA in considering a falsepositive test were decelerating vehicle in an adjacent lane—straight road, decelerating vehicle in an adjacent lane—curved road, driving under an overhead bridge, driving over Botts’ Dots in the roadway, driving over a steel 18 ‘‘Evaluation of CIB System Susceptibility to Non-Threatening Driving Scenarios on the Test Track’’, July 2013, DOT HS 811 795. 19 ‘‘Objective Tests for Automatic Crash Imminent Braking (CIB) Systems Appendices Volume 2 of 2’’, September 2011, DOT HS 811 521A. PO 00000 Frm 00120 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68611 trench plate, a stationary vehicle at a curve entrance, a stationary vehicle at a curve exit, and a stationary roadside vehicle. During testing we found that all CIB activations presently known by NHTSA are either preceded by or are coincident with FCW alerts. For the testing, we use the FCW warning as a surrogate for the CIB and DBS activations. Of the maneuvers used in the study, FCW activations were observed during the conduct of four scenarios: Object in roadway—steel trench plate, stationary vehicle at curve entrance, stationary roadside vehicles, and decelerating vehicle in an adjacent lane of a curve. Of the maneuvers capable of producing an FCW alert, CIB false positives were observed only during certain Object in Roadway—Steel Trench Plate tests, and for only one vehicle. The vehicle producing the CIB false-positives did so for 100 percent of the object in roadway—steel trench plate tests trials. No FCW or CIB activations were observed during the decelerating vehicle in an adjacent lane (straight), driving under an overhead bridge, objects in roadway—Botts’ Dots, and stationary vehicle at curve exit maneuvers. The steel trench plate was the easiest to set up, the least complex to perform, and a realistic test because the scenario is encountered during real world driving. Also, the steel trench plates are similar to some metal gratings found on bridges. The steel trench plate used in this program is believed to impose similar demands on the system functionality, albeit with better test track practicality (i.e., cost, expediency, and availability). Both the agency and some commenters believe that a false-positive test should be included in this program. Conversely, commenters state that the steel trench plate test is biased against radar systems. The agency will retain the steel trench plate false-positive test in this program and will continue to monitor vehicle owner complaints of false positive activations. The agency has received consumer complaints of false-positives of these AEB systems. This program should make an effort to reduce falsepositives in the field. We believe a falsepositive test is important to be included in the performance tests for these technologies. We disagree that the steel trench plate is biased against radar systems. The agency establishes performance-based tests. The purpose of the performance specifications in this program is to discern and discourage systems that do not perform sufficiently in real-world scenarios. If the steel trench plate identifies a notable E:\FR\FM\05NON1.SGM 05NON1 68612 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 214 / Thursday, November 5, 2015 / Notices performance weakness in system, that weakness should be pointed out to consumers. It is impossible to recreate every possible source of false-positive activations experienced during realworld driving. The steel trench plate tests are included as one significant common source of false positives during our CIB and DBS test track evaluations. We encourage vehicle manufactures to include identified false-positive scenarios in system development. If in the future, other scenarios become prevalent and are brought to our attention through consumer complaints, we will consider including them in our test protocol. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 8. Steel Plate Weight Noting that the steel trench plate currently specified in the test weighs 1.7 tons and is difficult to put in place, AGA urged the agency to allow an alternative plate if manufacturers can verify its performance. Concerning the weight of the steel trench plate, the test procedures do not specify this plate to be positioned on a part of the test track used for other tests. The plate is not installed or embedded, merely laid on top of a road surface. We do not see a need to be concerned with weight or the size of this test item. We are not developing a lighter weight version of this plate at this time. 9. DBS False Activation Test Brake Release The Alliance requested that the brake application protocol and equipment for the DBS steel trench plate scenario test procedure should provide specification for a pedal release by the driver during the false positive test. The Alliance states that some systems have mechanisms that allow the driver to release the DBS response if a false activation occurs. One of the simplest and most intuitive mechanisms is for the driver to release the brake pedal. This is not in the DBS false positive test. The agency does not agree with the Alliance’s recommendation that a way for the driver to override false positives should be provided in the test scenario. The purpose of the false-positive test is to ensure that they do not occur during this performance test. If the vehicle’s DBS system activates in reaction to the steel trench plate, then this is the kind of false-positive for which the test procedure is designed to identify. The agency feels that the potential consequences of a false positive are sufficient to warrant a test failure. The agency has decided not to add a brake release action to the false-positive test procedures. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:06 Nov 04, 2015 Jkt 238001 10. CIB False Activation Test Pass/Fail Criteria The Alliance and Bosch commented that the allowable CIB steel plate test deceleration threshold of 0.25g was too low. Bosch and the Alliance observed that some current state-of-the-art forward collision warning (FCW) portion of these AEB systems in the market use a brake jerk to warn the driver. The majority of the current brake-jerk applications for FCW use a range of 0.3g–0.4g and the maximum speed reduction normally does not exceed 3 mph (5 km/h), Bosch said. Bosch suggested increasing the threshold of the CIB false activation failure to 0.4g or using a maximum speed reduction, rather than peak deceleration rate, as the key factor for determining a pass/fail result for this test. Setting the fail point of the false activation test at 0.25g would restrict haptic pedal warning design to below 0.25g. The steel plate test is intended to evaluate CIB performance. This test is not intended to evaluate a haptic FCW capable of producing a peak deceleration of at least 0.25g before completion of the test maneuver. To make this distinction clear, we will raise the false positive threshold to a peak deceleration of 0.50g for CIB, and 150 percent of that realized with foundation brakes during baseline braking for DBS. 11. Pass/Fail Criteria for the Performance Tests The Alliance, Honda, AGA and Ford said that the determination that AEB technologies will pass each of the tests in the test procedure seven out of eight times should be changed to be consistent with the five passes out of seven trials that is specified by the NCAP forward collision warning (FCW) test procedures. The Alliance and Ford noted that the agency did not provide data to support the seven out of eight criterion approach. Ford presented the results of a coin toss experiment, which it said indicated that the five out of seven criteria covers 93.8 percent of all possible outcomes, a level whose robustness compares favorably to the 99.6 percent of all possible outcomes covered by the seven out of eight criterion. Tesla said the planned test procedures include too many tests. NHTSA notes that for the FCW NCAP, the vehicle must pass five out of seven trials of a specific test scenario, to pass that scenario. The vehicle must pass all scenarios to be recommended. The agency believes the current FCW test procedure criterion of passing five PO 00000 Frm 00121 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 out of seven tests has successfully discriminated between functional systems versus non-functional systems. Allowing two failures out of seven attempts affords some flexibility in including emerging technologies into the NCAP program. For example, NHTSA test laboratories have experienced unpredictable vehicle responses, due to the vehicle algorithm designs, rather than the test protocol. Test laboratories have seen systems that improve their performance with use, systems degrading and shutting down when they do not see other cars, and systems failing to re-activate if the vehicle is not cycled through an ignition cycle. To be in better alignment with the FCW NCAP tests, we are changing the pass rate for the CIB and DBS tests used for NCAP to five out of seven tests within a scenario. 12. Vehicle Test Weight/WeightDistribution AGA said the current test protocol allows testing a vehicle up to the vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). The Alliance noted that the Euro NCAP AEB test protocol defines the vehicle weight condition as ±1% of the sum of the unladen curb mass, plus 440 lb (200 kg). AGA asked that the test protocol be amended to include an upper weight limit, similar to the way that Euro NCAP’s AEB test specifies the vehicle to be loaded with no more than 440 lb (200 kg). Specifically, the Alliance recommended replacing the current language in Section 8.3.7 of the current CIB and DBS test procedures with: ‘‘7. The vehicle weight shall be within 1% of the sum of the unloaded vehicle weight (UVW) plus 200kg comprised of driver, instrumentation, experimenter (if required), and ballast as required. The front/rear axle load distribution shall be within 5% of that of the original UVW plus 100% fuel load. Where required, ballast shall be placed on the floor behind the passenger front seat or if necessary in the front passenger foot well area. All ballast shall be secured in a way that prevents it from becoming dislodged during test conduct.’’ The agency inventoried the current loads used at our test laboratory. The instrumentation and equipment currently used weighs approximately 170 lb (77 kg). Allowing two occupants in the vehicle could push the total load over 440 lb (200 kg) upper bound suggested by AGA and he Alliance. The agency would like to reserve the flexibility of having an additional person in the vehicle during testing to assist in the testing process, observe the tests and perhaps train on the testing E:\FR\FM\05NON1.SGM 05NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 214 / Thursday, November 5, 2015 / Notices jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES process. Also, we measured the effects of our standard load of one driver plus the instrumentation and equipment on weight distribution, and found that the percentage of weight on the front axle tended to increase by about 1 percent, on average. We assume adding a passenger in the rear seat would be approximately the same. This is well within the 5 percent variance from the unloaded weight as suggested by the Alliance. We have considered the comments that vehicle weight and weight distribution will have a large effect on the performance of CIB systems. We believe that this comment concerns both the vehicle sensing system alignment and braking performance repeatability. If it is true that weight and weight distribution consistent with predictable consumer usage have a large effect on the performance of CIB systems, this is a concern of the reliability of these systems to consumers. The agency will specify a maximum of 610 lb (277 kg) loading in these test programs. This will allow some test equipment and personnel flexibility, while still maintaining some reasonable cap on the loading changes. We also note that we may raise this limit on a case-by-case basis and in consultation with the vehicle manufacturer, if there is a need for additional equipment or an additional person that we have not anticipated at this time. 13. Lateral Offset of SV and SSV; Test Vehicle Yaw Rate AGA urged the agency to adopt the +/¥1 ft (0.3 m) lateral offset and 1 degree per second yaw rate specifications that were in previous versions of the test procedures as opposed to the +/¥2 ft (0.6 m) in the latest version to improve test accuracy and better reflect anticipated real world conditions. DENSO agreed that the 1 foot lateral offset (0.3 m) and 1 degree per second yaw rate should be restored. MEMA also noted the change in yaw and lateral orientation of the SV and POV from the 2012 draft test procedures to the 2014 test procedure draft and asked for clarification. The Alliance noted that the allowable vehicle yaw rate in each test run has been increased to +/¥2 degrees per second from +/¥1 degree per second in the previous versions of the test procedures. Bosch recommended that NHTSA consider using a steering robot or some other means of controlling the lateral offset. Confirming this tolerance range may be difficult with the ADAC EVT surrogate used by Euro NCAP and other institutions because the surrogate’s position relative to the road or the VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:06 Nov 04, 2015 Jkt 238001 subject vehicle is not directly measured. The measurement equipment is stored in the tow vehicle, not in the ADAC surrogate. Review of the NHTSA’s 2014 AEB test data indicate that decreasing the lateral displacement tolerance from ±2 ft to ±1 ft (±0.6 m to ±0.3 m) should not be problematic. Of the 491 tests performed, only 13 (2.7 percent) had SV lateral deviations greater than 1 ft (0.3 m). Those that did ranged from 1.06 to 1.21 ft (0.32 m to 0.37 m). The use of the SSV monorail makes conducting the test within the allowable 1-ft lateral displacement this feasible because the SSV position is controlled by the monorail. Through testing conducted by the NCAP contractor, we have determined that we should be able to satisfy the tighter tolerance. Testing performed by NHTSA’s VRTC support this finding. We believe we can perform this testing with a human driver steering the vehicle, rather than a steering robot. For SV yaw rate, we will tighten the test tolerance to ±1 deg/sec. For the SV and POV, we will tighten the test tolerance to ±1 ft (±0.3 m) relative to the center of the travel lane. The lateral tolerance between the centerline of the SV and the centerline of the POV will be tightened to ±1 ft (0.3 m). Additionally, we will be filtering these data channels with a 3 Hz digital filter (versus the 6 Hz used previously) to eliminate short duration data spikes that would invalidate runs that are otherwise valid. We are also eliminating the lateral offset and yaw rate validity specifications for the brake characterization (12.2.1.5 and 6) and false positive baseline tests (12.6.1.5 and 6) of the DBS test procedure. This data is not needed to ensure detection and braking repeatability; with no POV in these tests, it is not necessary to be in the exact center of the lane, for example. 14. Headway Tolerance Subaru recommended in its comment that NHTSA adopt a headway tolerance of 5 ft (1.5 m) in the test procedures. No explanation of why this is needed was provided in the comments. The headway tolerance is the allowable variance in the longitudinal distance between the front of the subject vehicle and the rear of the principal other vehicle ahead of it as the two vehicles move. The current tolerance is ±8 ft (2.4 m). A review of our test data reveals a 5 feet (1.5 m) tolerance is too tight unless the agency were committed to fullyautomated AEB testing is conducted. At this time we do not plan to fully automate the two test vehicles (the SV PO 00000 Frm 00122 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68613 and the vehicle towing the POV). The 8 ft (2.4 m) tolerance currently specified in our AEB procedures for the LVD tests is the same used for FCW NCAP testing. We are not aware of this tolerance causing any problems in AEB testing. We will leave the tolerance at 8 ft (2.4 m). 15. Speed Range, Upper and Lower Limits The Alliance, AGA, Continental, Ford, Honda, IIHS, and MBUSA said the activation limits of the test procedures are too high at the upper end and too low at the lower end or otherwise took issue with the speed parameters of the test procedures. AGA objected to specifying systems to operate up to 99.4 mph, noting that 80 percent of crashes covered by these systems occur at speeds of 50 mph or less. The high speed will preclude systems that are very effective and will create safety hazards for test drivers and test tracks, AGA added. Continental said although it is listed as a definition, the CIB/DBS active speed range is described as a performance specification, which they said makes it unclear if NHTSA’s intent that the definition speed range must be met in order to receive the NCAP recommendation. If this is the case Continental said it would be necessary to define the associated performance criteria to meet the specification that the system must remain active, especially at the maximum speed, to achieve the balance between effectiveness and false positives at these specified higher speeds. As suggested by Continental’s comments, the upper and lower activation limits were intended to define the AEB systems under consideration. There is no need to define these systems in the test procedure with a reference to their upper and lower activation limits. The agency hopes that the systems made available on light vehicles sold in the United States will be active at these speeds. However, the primary focus is to assure that AEB systems meet the specifications of the test procedures and activate at the speeds at which an AEB system can reasonably be expected to avoid or mitigate a rear end crash. Therefore, the references to the upper and lower activation limits will be removed from the NCAP AEB test procedures. 16. DBS Throttle Release Specification The Alliance states the current throttle release specification within 0.5 seconds from the onset of the FCW warning will result in test results that E:\FR\FM\05NON1.SGM 05NON1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 68614 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 214 / Thursday, November 5, 2015 / Notices are different between manufacturers. This specification in the DBS test procedure was established to simulate the human action of removing the foot from the throttle and placing it on the brake. In the test setup, the test driver releases the throttle at a specific time to collision relative to the DBS brake robot braking initiating the brake application. System design strategies across manufacturers vary on how to ascertain when a driver needs assistance and are often based on driver inputs on the steering wheel and pedals. The Alliance suggests that to avoid future interference with the optimization of warning development, we should consider other options. The Alliance requested that the agency consider the following options: Maintain Throttle Position to the Onset of Brake Application: The agency believes this is not possible for vehicles such as the Infiniti Q50. For this vehicle, part of the FCW is a haptic throttle pedal that pushes back up against the driver’s foot. This change in pedal position would violate a constant pedal position criterion. While it may be possible to hold the throttle pedal position fixed with robotic control, NHTSA has not actually evaluated the concept, and the agency does not plan to use a robot on subject vehicle throttle applications during the FCW and/or AEB performance testing. Throttle Release Relative to a Braking Initiation Time to Collision (TTC): In this approach the driver monitors the SV-to-POV headway, and responds at the correct instant. Although NHTSA has experience with this technique,20 the agency has concerns about incorporating it into the LVS, LVM, and LVD scenarios used to evaluate DBS because the agency does not intend to automate SV throttle applications for these tests. Since the brake applications specified in NHTSA’s DBS test procedure are each initiated at a specific TTC, this approach would also cause the throttle release to occur at a specific TTC. If this causes the commanded throttle release occur after the FCW is presented, it may not be possible for the driver to maintain a constant throttle pedal position between issuance of the FCW and the commanded throttle release point. The driver maintaining a constant throttle may result in the SVto-POV headway distance changing and move out of the specified headway 20 NHTSA’s false positive DBS tests are performed in the presence of the steel trench plate, since this plate does not cause the FCW to activate for many light vehicles, the DBS test procedure includes a provision for the SV driver to release the throttle at a fixed TTC if the FCW does not activate before a TTC = 2.1s. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:06 Nov 04, 2015 Jkt 238001 tolerance. While this may be possible with robotic control of the throttle, NHTSA has not actually evaluated the concept. OEM Defined Throttle Release Timing: NHTSA would like to minimize vehicle manufacturers’ input on how their vehicles should be evaluated. The agency will not make a test procedure change at this time. We believe it is possible for the SV driver to repeatably release the throttle pedal within 0.5 s of the FCW, and that any reduction of vehicle speed between the time of the throttle pedal release and the onset of the brake application is within the test procedure specifications. Human factors research indicates that when presented with an FCW in a rearend crash scenario, driver’s typically (1) release the throttle pedal then (2) apply the brakes.21 Therefore, the speed reduction that occurs between these two points in time has strong real-world relevance. D. Suggested Additions to Test Procedures 1. Accounting for Regenerative Braking Tesla expressed concern that the test procedures as currently written do not account for totally or partially electric vehicles that utilize regenerative braking to recharge batteries. Tesla urged NHTSA to clarify protocols for EV and hybrid vehicles, specifically regarding regenerative braking. Regenerative braking is an energypreservation system used to convert kinetic (movement) energy back to another form, which in the case of an electric vehicle, is used to charge the battery. The reason it is called ‘‘braking’’ is that the vehicle is forced to decelerate by this regenerative system, once the driver’s foot is taken off of the throttle. This system is independent of the standard brake system but the result is the same; the vehicle slows down. NHTSA’s direct experience with testing a vehicle equipped with AEB and regenerative braking has been limited to the BMW i3. As expected, once the driver released the throttle pedal in response the FCW alert, regenerative braking did indeed slow the vehicle at a greater rate than for other vehicles not so equipped with regenerative braking. This had the effect of reducing maneuver severity since the SV speed at the time of AEB intervention was less than for vehicles not so-equipped. This is not considered problematic. 21 ‘‘Development of an FCW Algorithm Evaluation Methodology With Evaluation of Three Alert Algorithms—Final Report,’’ June 2009 Figure 5. DOT HS 811 145 PO 00000 Frm 00123 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 For vehicles where the driver can select the magnitude of the vehicle’s regenerative braking (e.g., the Tesla Model S), the vehicle’s AEB system will be evaluated in its default mode (as originally configured by the vehicle manufacturer). 2. Customer-Adjustable FCW Settings The Alliance noted that in some CIB and DBS applications, system performance may take into account the warning timing setting of the FCW system when the FCW system allows the consumer to manually set the warning threshold. To clarify, the Alliance recommended that the following language, which is adapted from the FCW NCAP test procedure (Section 12.0), be included in the CIB and DBS NCAP test procedure: ‘‘If the FCW system provides a warning timing adjustment for the driver, at least one setting must meet the criterion of the test procedure.’’ In its previous work involving FCW, the agency has allowed vehicle manufacturers to configure the systems with multiple performance level modes. This provided vehicle manufacturers flexibility in designing consumer acceptable configurations. The test procedure allowed an FCW mode that provides the earliest alert if the timing can be selected and used during agency testing. Additionally, the test procedures do not include resetting to the original setting after ignition cycles. NHTSA believes that as a consumer information program, we should test the vehicles as delivered. We also believe the performance level settings of the FCW systems within the AEB test program should now be set similar to the AEB. The Alliance requested that we have language in the test procedure specifying that if there are adjustments to the FCW system, one setting must meet the criterion of the test procedure. Vehicle manufacturers may provide multiple settings for the FCW systems. However, the agency will only use the factory default setting for both the FCW and the AEB systems in the AEB program. 3. Sensor Axis Re-Alignment The Alliance commented that when the SV hits the SSV in some trials, the impact may misalign the system’s sensors. To ensure baseline performance in each trial, the Alliance asked that the test procedure be modified to allow the vehicle manufacturer representatives or test technicians to inspect and, if needed, re-align the sensor axis after each instance of contact between the subject vehicle and the SSV. E:\FR\FM\05NON1.SGM 05NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 214 / Thursday, November 5, 2015 / Notices jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES NHTSA has seen two cases of sensor misalignment during the initial development of this program. In one case, the subject vehicle had visible grill damage because the AEB system did not activate and the test vehicle hit the SSV at full speed. In another case, the vehicle sensing system shut down after numerous runs; inspection also revealed visible grill damage to the subject vehicle. In both cases, the vehicles were returned to an authorized dealer, repaired and then returned to the test facility. The NCAP test program has instituted two new procedural improvements to monitor for system damage. First, we began testing with less-severe tests, such as the lead vehicle moving test first, to determine if the vehicle system is capable of passing any of the tests. Second, we have instituted more rigorous visual between-vehicle inspections by the contractor during the testing. Based on our observations in testing, we believe systems that have sensor damage will likely show visible grill damage. With the improvements in the AEB systems and refinement of our test protocol, we do not believe sensor misalignments will be a significant problem. We invite vehicle manufacturer representatives to attend each of our tests. We reserve the right to work with the vehicle manufacturers on a one-on-one basis if we have problems with the vehicles during the tests. 4. Multiple Events—Minimum and Maximum Time Between Events The Alliance and Ford asked that the AEB test procedures specify a minimum time of 90 seconds and a maximum time of 10 minutes between each test run as in Euro NCAP AEBS test procedures. Some AEB systems initiate a fail-safe suppression mechanism when multiple activations are triggered in a short time. Most systems can be activated again with an ignition key cycle. In most cases activation of the suppression mechanism can be avoided by including a time interval between individual AEB activations or by cycling the ignition. The current test procedure addresses this by checking for diagnostic test codes (DTCs) to determine if any system suppression or error codes have occurred with the sensing system software. The agency agrees that there should be a minimum of 90 seconds between test runs and will modify the AEB test procedures to state this explicitly. We recognize that the algorithms in these vehicles look for conditions that are illogical, such as multiple activations in VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:06 Nov 04, 2015 Jkt 238001 short periods of time, and within a single ignition cycle. The time needed to allow the subject vehicle brakes to cool and the test equipment to be reset between each test trial has always exceeded 90 seconds in the agency’s testing experience. The agency will also specify in the test procedures that the vehicle ignition be cycled after every test run. The agency believes a maximum time between test runs of 10 minutes is too short to be feasible. The test engineers need sufficient time to review data, inspect the test equipment and set up for the next test run. Also recall that the test engineers need time to ensure the vehicle brake temperatures are within specification and the brake system is ready for the next test run. Additionally, it is impractical to specify that all of the tests must be completed within 10 minute cycles while conversely specify that testing be discontinued if ambient conditions are out of specifications. At this time, we are unaware of any algorithm-based reason why testing must be resumed in less than 10 minutes. 5. Time-to-Collision (TTC) Definition The Alliance observed that the TTC values used in the test procedures are calculated in the same manner as they are in the current NCAP FCW test procedure, but noted that the TTC calculation equations are not included in the draft CIB and DBS test procedures. The Alliance asked that, for clarification purposes, the TTC equations that appear in Section 17.0 of the NHTSA NCAP FCW test procedure dated February 2013 be added to the CIB and DBS test procedures. The agency acknowledges that the TTC calculations for the FCW test procedure are the same as these test procedures. The TTC calculations that are included in the NCAP FCW test procedures will be added to the AEB test procedures, as requested in the comments. This will make it clear that the TTC equations apply to the AEB test procedures as well. E. Strikeable Surrogate Vehicle (SSV) 1. Harmonization Urged NHTSA’s strikeable surrogate vehicle (SSV) was discussed earlier in this notice. Multiple commenters encouraged NHTSA to harmonize with Euro NCAP and to use the ADAC EVT in lieu of the SSV. The commenters had concerns about the use of the SSV. They asked NHTSA to establish a maintenance process for the SSV. They questioned whether parts such as the MY 2011 Ford Fiesta vehicle’s taillights, PO 00000 Frm 00124 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68615 rear bumper reflectors and third brake light can be a part of the SSV indefinitely (i.e., will parts continue to be built). The Alliance, Ford, and Continental took a moderate position, supporting calls for harmonization but acknowledging all the work that went into developing the SSV. Other commenters proposed NHTSA could potentially use the SSV target in conjunction with the EVT propulsion system used by Euro NCAP. Concern was also expressed over the SSV setup, the number of facilities capable of performing the actual test maneuvers, the additional test costs, and the problem of damage to the subject vehicles. AGA said NHTSA could provide an option for manufacturers to use an alternative test devices of Euro NCAP or IIHS. Both Euro NCAP and IIHA use ADAC EVT. Tail light availability is not expected to be a problem for the foreseeable future. However, if this should this become an issue, simulated taillights, an updated SSV shell, or potentially other changes could be made to replace the current model. Overall, the AEB system sensors interpret the SSV appears to sensors as a genuine vehicle. Nearly all vehicle manufacturers and many suppliers have assessed how the SSV appears to the sensors used for their AEB systems. The results of these scans have been very favorable. Although the SSV has been designed to be as durable as possible, its various components may need to be repaired or replaced over time. As with all other known surrogate vehicles used for AEB testing, the frequency of repair or replacement is strongly dependent on how the surrogate is used, particularly the number of high speed impacts sustained during testing. With regards to availability, the specifications needed to construct the SSV are in the public domain.22 Multiple sets of the SSV and the tow system have been manufactured and sold to vehicle manufactures and test facilities. The SSV can be manufactured by anyone using these specifications. With regard to other issues like cost and convenience of use, we feel the SSV is within the range of practicality as a test system. In relation to other motor vehicle test systems, the SSV system is reasonably priced and can be moved from test facility to test facility. While we appreciate the concerns about the SSV expressed in the comments, we will continue to specify 22 http://www.regulations.gov, Docket NHTSA– 2012–0057. E:\FR\FM\05NON1.SGM 05NON1 68616 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 214 / Thursday, November 5, 2015 / Notices the SSV in the NCAP AEB test procedures that NHTSA will use to confirm through spot checks that vehicles with AEB technologies and for which a manufacturer has submitted supporting data meet NCAP performance criteria. As noted previously this does not require use of the SSV by manufacturers for their own testing. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 2. Repeatability/Reproducibility The Alliance said because the SSV is not readily available, its members have not been able to conduct a full set of tests to assess the repeatability and reproducibility of the SSV in comparison with other commercially available test targets. NHTSA is aware that the SSV is a relatively new test device and that every interested entity may not have had a chance to perform a comprehensive series of SSV evaluations or seen how it is actually used. However the specifications needed to construct the SSV are in the public domain and multiple SSVs have been manufactured and sold to vehicle manufacturers and test facilities. A test report describing the SSV repeatability work performed with a Jeep Grand Cherokee has recently been released.23 3. Lateral Restraint Track (LRT) Commenters were concerned with the lateral restraint track (LRT). They felt the LRT was not needed. The permanent installation of the LRT used up track space and made it hard to move testing activities to another test track. Some commenters indicated that if the LRT used to keep the SSV centered in its travel lane is white, it may affect AEB performance. This is because some camera-based AEB systems consider lane width in their control algorithms, and these algorithms may not perform correctly if the LRT is confused for a solid white lane line. Although NHTSA test data does not appear to indicate this is a common problem, the NHTSA test contractor is using a black LRT to address this potential issue. The black LRT appears more like a uniform tar strip that has been used to seal a long crack in the center of the travel lane pavement, a feature present on realworld roads. NHTSA appreciates these concerns but believes the continued use of the LRT is important. LRT is designed to insure several things, including that the SSV will be constrained within a tight 23 Forkenbrock, GJ & Snyder, AS (2015, May) NHTSA’s 2014 Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) Test Track Evaluation (Report No. DOT HS 812 166). Washington DC, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:06 Nov 04, 2015 Jkt 238001 tolerance to optimize test accuracy and repeatability. Using the LRT to absolutely keep the path of the SSV within the center of the lane of travel, in conjunction with the lateral tolerances defined in the CIB and DBS test procedures, will allow the agency to test AEB systems in a situation where one vehicle is approached by another vehicle from directly behind. To reduce the potential for unnecessary interventions, some AEB systems contain algorithms that can adjust onset of the automatic brake activation as a function of lateral deviation from the center of the POV. This is because it will take less time for the driver to steer around the POV if the lateral position of the SV is biased away from its centerline. Although this may help to minimize nuisance activations in the real-world, the same algorithms may contribute to test variability during AEB NCAP evaluations if excessive lateral offset exists between the SV and POV. Since the use of the LRT prevents this from occurring, it is expected the agency’s tests will allow AEB systems to best demonstrate their crash avoidance or mitigate capabilities. Ford suggested that NHTSA use the ADAC EVT propulsion system with the SSV to increase feasibility for manufacturers. NHTSA believe the inherent design differences between the SSV and ADAC surrogates makes using the ADAC EVT propulsion system with the SSV a considerable challenge. Design changes to the SSV and/or ADAC EVT rig would be needed. It is not possible to simply substitute the SSV for the ADAC EVT surrogate on the ADAC rig as Ford suggests. Even if the ADAC EVT could be adapted, and even though it appears to track well behind a tow vehicle, the precise position of the ADAC EVT is not measured, so the lateral offset cannot be quantified. Commenters expressed concern on the allowable lateral offset and yaw rate tolerance in the AEB test procedures placing considerable emphasis on the importance of narrowing the tolerances in these areas. AGA said the lateral offset and yaw rate in August 2014 draft test procedures (+/- 2 ft (0.3 m) lateral offset and +/- 2 deg/s yaw rate) can create a delay in AEB system response that could affect a system’s performance during and AEB test. DENSO agreed that a higher tolerance in lateral offset and yaw rate tends to decrease forward looking sensor detection performance. The Alliance too weighed in on this saying, that ‘‘the variability in lateral offset is expected to have a significant impact on test reproducibility and system performance and resultant rating,’’ adding that the yaw rate should PO 00000 Frm 00125 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 be +/- 1 deg/s to be consistent with the FCW test procedure given the fact that AEB systems use the same sensors as FCW systems. As discussed earlier, we have agreed to tighten the yaw rate and lateral offset tolerance. This makes the tight control provided by the LRT even more important to the performance of these tests. Until the agency has an indication that an alternative approach to moving the SSV down a test track can ensure the narrow tolerances for lateral offset and yaw rate, the LRT will remain in the AEB test procedures. Our contractor has already installed a black LRT. Thought this does not completely disguise the restraint track, it is close to being masked for a camera-based AEB system. 4. What is the rear of the SSV? (Zero Position) NHTSA considers the rearmost portion of the SSV, or the ‘‘zero position,’’ to be the back of the foam bumper. The Alliance suggested the rearmost part of the SSV should be defined by its carbon fiber body, not its foam bumper. The Alliance said it has observed SV-to-SSV measurement errors of as much as 40 cm (15.7 in), and attributes them to their vehicle’s sensors not being able to consistently detect the reflective panel located between the SSV’s bumper foam and its cover. It has always been the agency’s intention to make the rear of the SSV foam bumper detectable to radar while still having its radar return characteristics be as realistic as possible. This is the reason NHTSA installed a radar-reflective panel between the SSV’s 8 in (20.3 cm) deep foam bumper and its cover; the panel is specifically used to help radar-based systems define the rearmost part of the SSV since the foam is essentially invisible to radar. We are presently working to identify the extent to which AEB systems have problems determining the overall rearmost position of the SSV. NHTSA considers the outside rear surface of foam bumper, immediately adjacent to the radarreflective material to be the ‘‘zero position’’ in its CIB and DBS tests, and is considering ways to better allow AEB systems to identify it. 5. Energy Absorption, Radar System Bias Other concerns mentioned by commenters include design changes to the SSV: Increasing energy absorption and minimizing a perceived bias towards radar systems based on the SSV’s appearance in certain lighting conditions which may be challenging for camera systems. We believe the SSV appears to be a real vehicle to most E:\FR\FM\05NON1.SGM 05NON1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 214 / Thursday, November 5, 2015 / Notices current AEB systems, regardless of what sensor or set of sensors the systems uses, and that the SSV elicits AEB responses representative of how the systems will perform in real world driving situations. The ability of the SSV to withstand SV-to-POV impacts appears to be adequate if the subject vehicles being evaluated produces even minimal speed reductions to mitigate them. We continue to evaluate SSV performance and will consider improvements. Some commenters indicated NHTSA should increase the padding to the SSV to reduce the likelihood of damage to the test equipment or to the SV during an SV-to-POV impact. When designing the SSV, we attempted to balance realism, strikeability, and durability. The body structure and frame of the SSV are constructed from carbon fiber to make them stiff (so that the shape remains constant like a real car), strong, and light weight. To enable SV-to-POV impacts, the SSV frame has design elements to accommodate severe impact forces and accelerations and an 8 in (20.3 cm) deep foam bumper to attenuate the initial impact pulse. We are concerned that simply adding more padding to the rear of the SSV will reduce its realistic appearance, and potentially affect AEB system performance. Therefore, to address the potential need for additional SSV strikeability, the agency is presently considering an option to work with individual vehicle manufacturers to add strategically-placed foam to the SV front bumper to supplement the foam installed on the rear of the SSV. At this time, no changes to the appearance of the SSV are planned. Since temporary padding added to the subject vehicle does not alter that characteristics of the SSV nor affect the distance of the SSV to the vehicle sensors, we will not be adjust the zeroing procedure in the test procedure to compensate for this onetime padding addition. With regards to sensor bias, the SSV has been designed to be as realistic as possible to all known sensors used by AEB systems. While it is true that the SSV has a strong radar presence, use of the white body color and numerous high-contrast features (e.g., actual tail lights and bumper reflectors, simulated license plate, dark rear window, etc.) was intended to make it as apparent as possible to camera and lidar-based systems as well. Aside from inclement weather and driving into the sun, conditions explicitly disallowed by NHTSA’s CIB and DBS test procedures, sensor limitations capable of adversely affecting the real-world detection, classification, and response of a SV to VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:06 Nov 04, 2015 Jkt 238001 actual vehicles during real-world driving may also affect the ability of the SV to properly respond to the SSV. The agency considers this an AEB system limitation, not an SSV flaw. F. Other Issues 1. Non-Ideal Conditions—Exclude Away From Sun as Well NHTSA’s CIB and DBS test procedures both include a set of environmental restrictions designed to ensure that proper system functionality is realized during a vehicle’s evaluation. One such restriction prohibits the SV and POV from being oriented into the sun when it is oriented 15 degrees or less from horizontal, since this can cause inoperability due to ‘‘washout’’ (temporary sensor blindness) in camerabased systems. DENSO commented that, in addition to prohibiting testing with the test vehicles oriented toward the sun when the sun is at a very low angle (15 degrees or less from horizontal) to avoid camera ‘‘washout’’ or system inoperability, the test procedures should also prohibit testing with vehicles oriented away from the sun (with the sun at low angle) which would harmonize this issue with Euro NCAP test procedure. MEMA agreed that wash out conditions experienced in low sun angle conditions for SV and POV oriented toward the sun may also occur when they are oriented away from the sun. To date, the agency’s testing does not indicate that a low sun angle from the rear will adversely affect AEB system performance. Moreover, one of the agency’s testing contractors indicates that restricting the sun angle behind as well as in front of the test vehicle will significantly reduce the hours per day that testing may be performed. If our ongoing experience suggests that this is a problem for vehicles equipped with a particular sensor or sensor set, we will consider making adjustments. 2. Multiple Safety Systems TRW inquired as to how safety systems other than AEB systems on a test vehicle would be configured during AEB testing. The company asked whether there would be provisions in the test procedure for turning off certain safety features in order to make the testing repeatable. It gave as an example some pre-crash systems that may be activated based on these tests. Due to the complexity and variance of vehicle designs the agency will deal with system conflicts on a one-on-one basis. The agency does not specify or recommend that vehicle manufacturers PO 00000 Frm 00126 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68617 design and include cut-off provisions for the sole purpose of performing AEB tests. 3. Motorcycles The AMA said that all AEB systems included in NCAP should be able to detect and register a motorcycle. If not, vehicle operators may become dependent on these new technologies and cause a crash, because the system did not detect and identify a smaller vehicle, the organization said. AEB systems, while relatively sophisticated and available in the American new vehicle marketplace, are still nonetheless in the early stages of their development. Some may be able to detect motorcycles. Some may not be able to do so. Eventually, the sensitivity of these systems may increase to the point where detecting a motorcycle is commonplace among systems. The agency believes it would be benefit to highway safety move forward with this program at this time, even though it does not include motorcycle detection. By including AEB systems among the advanced crash avoidance technologies it recommends to consumers in NCAP, the agency expects more and more manufacturers to equip more and more new vehicles with these systems. As a result, many rear-end crashes and the resulting injuries and deaths will be avoided. The agency believes it will be beneficial to take this step even if the systems involved are not as capable of recognizing motorcycles today. We also do not have reason to believe that AEB systems are the type of technology likely to encourage overreliance by drivers. DBS is activated based on driver braking input, and CIB is activated when for one reason or another, the driver has not begun to apply the brake. We do not think that in either scenario the driver is likely to drive differently under the assumption that the AEB system will perform the driver’s task. The agency will continue to follow the ongoing development and enhancement of AEB systems and look for opportunities to encourage the development and deployment of systems that detect motorcycles. 4. How To Account for CIB/DBS Interaction Honda asked how the interrelationship between CIB and DBS should be treated, in situations in which CIB activates before the driver applies the brakes and DBS never activates. The brake applications used for DBS evaluations are activated at a specific point in time prior to an imminent E:\FR\FM\05NON1.SGM 05NON1 68618 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 214 / Thursday, November 5, 2015 / Notices jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES collision with a lead vehicle (time-tocollision) regardless of whether CIB has been activated or not. If CIB activates before DBS, the initial test speed and, thus, the severity of the test would effectively be reduced. TRW observed that one potential future trend to watch is that as industry confidence and capability to provide CIB functionality increases and the amount of vehicle deceleration is allowed to increase and be applied earlier in the process, the need for DBS as a separate feature may diminish. The potential goal of DBS testing would become one of proving a driver intervention during an AEB event does not detract from the event’s outcome, TRW said. At this time, the agency is aware that many light vehicle DBS systems supply higher levels of braking at earlier activation times for the supplemental brake input compared to the automatic braking of CIB systems. Based on this understanding of current system design, our NCAP AEB test criteria for DBS evaluates crash avoidance resulting from higher levels of deceleration, whereas our CIB test criteria evaluates crash mitigation (with the exception of the CIB lead vehicle moving SV: 25 mph/POV: 10 mph (SV:40 km/h/POV: 16 km/h) scenario, for which crash avoidance is required). NHTSA will keep the speed reduction evaluation criteria as planned for the CIB and DBS tests. Unless the agency uncovers a reason to be concerned about how the performance metrics of a test protocol may affect system performance in vehicles equipped with both CIB and DBS, the agency will recognize an AEB equipped vehicle as long as it passes the criteria of a given protocol, whether that occurs as a result of the activation of the particular system or a combination of systems. 5. Issues Beyond the Scope of This Notice Some commenters raised topics outside the scope of the notice, and they will not be addressed here. These include: A suggested two-stage approach to adding technologies to NCAP, a suggested minimum AEB performance regulation that would function in concert with NCAP, conflicts between rating systems that could cause consumer confusion, other technologies that should be added to NCAP in the future, and a call for flashing brake lights to alert trailing drivers that an AEB system has been activated. Other topics raised may be addressed as the agency’s experience with AEB VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:06 Nov 04, 2015 Jkt 238001 systems expands over time. These topics include: Using different equipment, including a different surrogate vehicle; a call to study the interaction of the proposed CIB/DBS systems with tests for FMVSS Nos. 208 and 214 to assess whether such features should be enabled during testing and what the effect may be; a suggestion that the agency should consider the role electronic data recorders (EDRs) may play in assessing AEB false positive field performance; and concern as to how safety systems on a test vehicle other than AEB systems would be dealt with during AEB testing, such as some pre-crash systems that may be activated based on these tests. A suggestion was made that the agency should consider the potential interactions of AEB systems with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications technology, both in how AEB tests might be performed and what the performance specifications for those tests should be. The agency is monitoring the interaction of these capabilities. V. Conclusion For all the reasons stated above, we believe that it is appropriate to update NCAP to include crash imminent braking and dynamic brake support systems as Recommended Advanced Technologies. Starting with Model Year 2018 vehicles, we will include AEB systems as a recommended technology and test such systems. (Authority: 49 U.S.C. 32302, 30111, 30115, 30117, 30166, and 30168, and Pub. L. 106– 414, 114 Stat. 1800; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95.) Issued in Washington, DC, on: October 21, 2015. Under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.95. Mark R. Rosekind, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2015–28052 Filed 11–4–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board [Docket No. FD 35760] Hainesport Industrial Railroad, LLC— Corporate Family Transaction Exemption Surface Transportation Board. Correction to Notice of Exemption. AGENCY: ACTION: On August 26, 2013, Hainesport Industrial Railroad, LLC (Hainesport), a Class III railroad, filed a verified notice PO 00000 Frm 00127 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 of exemption under 49 CFR 1180.2(d)(3) for a corporate family transaction pursuant to which Hainesport would transfer ownership and operation of a line of railroad, described as the East Line, in Hainesport, N.J., to a corporate affiliate, Hainesport Secondary Railroad, LLC (Hainesport Secondary).1 The notice was served and published in the Federal Register on September 11, 2013 (78 FR 55,776), and became effective on September 25, 2013. On August 6, 2015, Hainesport filed a petition to correct or amend the notice. According to Hainesport, the map provided with its notice incorrectly depicted the East Line. Thus, Hainesport requests that the Board substitute the map identified as Exhibit A to its petition for the map submitted in the notice. This correction is recognized here. All remaining information from the September 11, 2013 notice remains unchanged. Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at WWW.STB.DOT.GOV. Decided: November 2, 2015. By the Board, Rachel D. Campbell, Director, Office of Proceedings. Brendetta S. Jones, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. 2015–28190 Filed 11–4–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P DEPARTMENT OF VETERAN AFFAIRS Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY: Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Notice of Amendment to System of Records. ACTION: In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)) all agencies are required to publish in the Federal Register a notice of the existence and character of their systems of records. Notice is hereby given that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending the system of records entitled ‘‘Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Records—VA’’ 119VA005R1C. DATES: Comments on the amendment of this system of records must be received no later than December 7, 2015. If no public comment is received, the new SUMMARY: 1 In a notice served on July 16, 2015, the Board approved a verified notice of exemption filed by Hainesport, Tunnel Hill Partners, LP (Tunnel), and New Amsterdam & Seneca Railroad Company (NAS), for Tunnel, which owns NAS, to acquire control of Hainesport. Tunnel Hill Partners, LP— Acquis. of Control Exemption—Hainesport Indus. R.R., FD 35942 (STB served July 16, 2015). E:\FR\FM\05NON1.SGM 05NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 214 (Thursday, November 5, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 68604-68618]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-28052]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0006]


New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Final decision.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: On January 28, 2015, NHTSA published a notice requesting 
comments on the agency's intention to recommend various vehicle models 
that are equipped with automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems that 
meet the agency's performance criteria to consumers through the 
agency's New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) and its Web site, 
www.safercar.gov. These systems can enhance the driver's ability to 
avoid or mitigate rear-end crashes. This notice announces NHTSA's 
decision to include AEB technologies as part of NCAP Recommended 
Advanced Technology Features, if the technologies meet NCAP performance 
criteria. The specific technologies included are crash imminent braking 
(CIB) and dynamic brake support (DBS).

DATES: These changes to the New Car Assessment Program are effective 
for the 2018 Model Year vehicles.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical issues: Dr. Abigail 
Morgan, Office of Crash Avoidance Standards, Telephone: 202-366-1810, 
Facsimile: 202-366-5930, NVS-122. For NCAP issues: Mr. Clarke Harper, 
Office of Crash Avoidance Standards, email: Clarke.Harper@DOT.GOV, 
Telephone: 202-366-1810, Facsimile: 202-366-5930, NVS-120.
    The mailing address for these officials is as follows: National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Executive Summary
II. Background
III. Summary of Request for Comments
IV. Response to Comments and Agency Decision
    A. Harmonization
    B. Rating System for Crash Avoidance Technologies in NCAP
    C. Draft Test Procedures
    D. Proposed Additions to Test Procedures
    E. Proposed Additions to Test Procedures
    F. Other Issues
V. Conclusion

I. Executive Summary

    This notice announces the agency's decision to update the U.S. New 
Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include a recommendation to motor 
vehicle consumers on vehicle models that have automatic emergency 
braking (AEB) systems that can substantially enhance the driver's 
ability to avoid rear-end crashes. NCAP recommends crash avoidance 
technologies, in addition to providing crashworthiness, rollover, and 
overall star ratings. Today, 3 crash avoidance technologies--forward 
collision warning, lane departure warning, and rearview video systems--
are recommended by the agency if they meet NHTSA's performance 
specifications.
    NHTSA is adding AEB as a recommended technology, which means that 
we now have tests for AEB. AEB refers to either crash imminent braking 
(CIB), dynamic brake support (DBS), or both on the same vehicle. CIB 
automatically applies vehicle brakes if the vehicle sensing system 
anticipates a potential rear impact with the vehicle in front of it. 
DBS applies more brake power if the sensing system determines that the 
driver has applied the brakes prior to a rear-end crash but estimates 
that the amount of braking is not sufficient to avoid the crash. NHTSA 
is also removing rearview video systems (RVS) as a recommended 
technology in Model Year 2019, because RVS is going to be required on 
all new vehicles manufactured on or after May 1, 2018, and that 
technology's presence in NCAP will no longer provide comparative 
information for consumers.
    The vehicles that have Advanced Technologies recommended by NHTSA 
may be seen on the agency Web site www.safercar.gov.

II. Background

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) New 
Car Assessment Program (NCAP) provides comparative safety rating 
information on new vehicles to assist consumers with their vehicle 
purchasing decisions. In addition to issuing star safety ratings based 
on the crashworthiness and rollover resistance of vehicle models, the 
agency also provides additional information to consumers by 
recommending certain advanced crash avoidance technologies on the 
agency's Web site, www.safercar.gov. For each vehicle make/model, the 
Web site currently shows the vehicle's 5-star crashworthiness and 
rollover resistance ratings and whether the vehicle model is equipped 
with and meets NHTSA's performance criteria for any of the three 
advanced crash avoidance safety technologies that the agency currently 
recommends to consumers. NHTSA began recommending advanced crash 
avoidance technologies to consumers

[[Page 68605]]

starting with the 2011 model year.\1\ NHTSA has under consideration 
other ways of incorporating crash avoidance technologies into its NCAP 
program, but those changes are not a part of this notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See 73 FR 40016.
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    The agency first included recommended advanced technologies as part 
of the NCAP upgrade that occurred as of the 2011 model year. These 
first technologies were electronic stability control (ESC), forward 
collision warning (FCW), and lane departure warning (LDW). 
Subsequently, in 2014, NHTSA replaced ESC, which is now mandatory for 
all new light vehicles, with another technology, rearview video systems 
(RVS).\2\ FCW uses forward looking sensors to detect other vehicles 
ahead. If the vehicle is getting too close to another vehicle at too 
high of a speed, it warns the driver of an impending crash so the 
driver can brake or steer to avoid or mitigate the crash. LDW monitors 
lane markings on the road and cautions a driver of unintentional lane 
drift. RVS assists the driver in seeing whether there are any 
obstructions, particularly a person or people, in the area immediately 
behind the vehicle. RVS is typically installed in the rear of the 
vehicle and connected to a video screen visible to the driver.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ On April 7, 2014, NHTSA published a final rule (79 FR 19177) 
requiring rearview video systems (RVS). The rule provides a phase-in 
period that begins on May 1, 2016 and ends on May 1, 2018 when all 
new light vehicles will be required to be equipped with RVS. As was 
done with electronic stability control, RVS will no longer be an 
NCAP recommended technology after May 1, 2018, once RVS is required 
on all new light vehicles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The agency may recommend vehicle technologies to consumers as part 
of NCAP if the technology: (1) Addresses a major crash problem, (2) is 
supported by information that corroborates its potential or actual 
safety benefit, and (3) is able to be tested by repeatable performance 
tests and procedures to ensure a certain level of performance.
    Rear-end crashes constitute a significant vehicle safety problem. 
In a detailed analysis of 2006-2008 crash data,\3\ NHTSA determined 
that approximately 1,700,000 rear-end crashes involving passenger 
vehicles occur each year.\4\ These crashes result in approximately 
1,000 deaths and 700,000 injuries annually. The size of the safety 
problem has remained consistent since then. In 2012, the most recent 
year for which complete data are available, there were a total of 
1,663,000 rear-end crashes. These rear-end crashes in 2012 resulted in 
1,172 deaths and 706,000 injuries, which represent 3 percent of all 
fatalities and 30 percent of all injuries from motor vehicle crashes in 
2012.5 6
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    \3\ These estimates were derived from NHTSA's 2006-2008 Fatality 
Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data and non-fatal cases in NHTSA's 
2006-2008 National Automotive Sampling System General Estimates 
System (NASS/GES) data.
    \4\ The 1,700,000 total cited in the two NHTSA reports reflects 
only crashes in which the front of a passenger vehicle impacts the 
rear of another vehicle.
    \5\ See NHTSA's Traffic Safety Facts 2012, Page 70, http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812032.pdf.
    \6\ The approximately 1,000 deaths per year in 2006-2008 were 
limited to two-vehicle crashes, as fatal crash data at the time did 
not contain detailed information on crashes involving three or more 
vehicles. This information was added starting with the 2010 data 
year, and the 1,172 deaths in 2012 occurred in crashes involving any 
number of vehicles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Collectively, NHTSA refers to CIB and DBS systems as automatic 
emergency braking (AEB) systems. Prior to the development of AEB 
systems, vehicles were equipped with forward collision warning systems, 
to warn drivers of pending frontal impacts. These FCW systems sensed 
vehicles in front, using radar, cameras or both. These CIB and DBS 
systems can use information from an FCW system's sensors to go beyond 
the warning and potentially help avoid or mitigate rear-end crashes. 
CIB systems provide automatic braking when forward-looking sensors 
indicate that a crash is imminent and the driver is not braking. DBS 
systems provide supplemental braking when sensors determine that 
driver-applied braking is insufficient to avoid an imminent crash. As 
part of its rear-end crash analysis, the agency concluded that AEB 
systems would have had a favorable impact on a little more than one-
half of rear-end crashes.\7\ The remaining crashes, which involved 
circumstances such as high speed crashes resulting in a fatality in the 
lead vehicle or one vehicle suddenly cutting in front of another 
vehicle, were not crashes that current AEB systems would be able to 
address.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ See ``Forward-Looking Advanced Braking Technologies Research 
Report'' (June 2012). (http://www.Regulations.gov, NHTSA 2012-0057-
0001), page 12.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The agency has conducted test track research to better understand 
the performance capabilities of these systems. The agency's work is 
documented in three reports, ``Forward-Looking Advanced Braking 
Technologies Research Report'' (June 2012) \8\ ``Automatic Emergency 
Braking System Research Report'' (August 2014) \9\ and ``NHTSA's 2014 
Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) Test Track Evaluations'' (May 
2015).\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ See http://www.Regulations.gov, NHTSA 2012-0057-0001.
    \9\ See http://www.Regulations.gov, NHTSA 2012-0057-0037.
    \10\ DOT HS 812 166.
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    AEB technologies were among the topics included in an April 5, 2013 
request for comments notice on a variety of potential areas for 
improvement of NCAP.\11\ All of those commenting on the subject 
supported including CIB and DBS in NCAP. None of those submitting 
comments in response to the request for comments opposed adding CIB and 
DBS to NCAP. Some commenters stated generally that available research 
supports the agency's conclusion that these technologies are effective 
at reducing rear-end crashes, with some of those commenters citing 
relevant research they had conducted. No one was specifically opposed 
to including CIB and DBS in NCAP.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ See http://www.Regulations.gov, NHTSA 2012-0180.
_____________________________________-

    The agency found that CIB and DBS systems are commercially 
available on a number of different production vehicles and these 
systems can be tested successfully to defined performance measures. 
NHTSA has developed performance measures that address real-world 
situations to ensure that CIB and DBS systems address the rear-end 
crash safety. The agency believes that systems meeting these 
performance measures have the potential to help reduce the number of 
rear-end crashes as well as deaths and injuries that result from these 
crashes. Therefore, the agency is including CIB and DBS systems in NCAP 
as recommended crash avoidance technologies on www.safercar.gov.

III. Summary of Request for Comments

    The January 28, 2015 request for comments notice that preceded this 
document sought public comment in the following four areas.
    Draft test procedures:
     General response to the draft test procedures;
     Whether or not the draft test procedures' combination of 
test scenarios and test speeds provide an accurate representation of 
real-world CIB and DBS system performance;
     Whether or not any of the scenarios in the draft test 
procedures can be removed while still ensuring that the procedures 
still reflect an appropriate level of system performance--if so, which 
scenarios and why they can be removed;
     Whether or not the number of test trials per scenario can 
be reduced--if so, why and how; and
     How the draft test procedures can be improved--if so, 
which specific improvements are needed.
    The strikeable surrogate vehicle (SSV) designed by NHTSA and 
planned for use in CIB and DBS testing:

[[Page 68606]]

     Whether or not there are specific elements of the SSV that 
would make it inappropriate for use in the agency's CIB and DBS 
performance evaluations--if so, what those elements are and why they 
represent a problem; and
     Whether or not the SSV will meet the needs for CIB and DBS 
evaluation for the foreseeable future--if not, why not, and what 
alternatives should be considered and why.
    The planned DBS brake application strategy:
     Whether the two brake application methods defined in the 
DBS test procedure, those based on displacement or hybrid control, 
provide NHTSA with enough flexibility to accurately assess the 
performance of all DBS systems; and
     What specific refinements, if any, are needed to either 
application method?
    CIB and DBS research:
     The agency wanted to know whether there is any recent 
research concerning CIB and DBS systems that is not reflected in the 
agency's research to date and, if so, what is that research
    Twenty-one comments were received.\12\ Most of the comments were 
from the automobile industry--vehicle manufacturers, associations of 
vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, and associations of suppliers. In 
addition, comments were received from another Federal government 
entity, an organization of insurance companies, and an association of 
motorcycle interests. Those in support included Advocates, Alliance, 
AGA, ASC, Bosch, CU, Continental, DENSO, Ford, Infineon, IIHS, Malik, 
MBUSA, MEMA, NADA, NTSB, Tesla, and TRW. Advocates supported using NCAP 
to encourage vehicle safety technologies, but indicated its preference 
for requiring AEB systems on new vehicles by regulation. Honda 
expressed its support for NCAP generally, but did not specifically 
support the addition of AEB systems to NCAP. Honda stated that it would 
like these systems to be rated. IIHS said that its research on the 
effectiveness of Volvo's City Safety system and Subaru's Eyesight 
system indicates that NHTSA may have ``vastly underestimated the 
benefit of AEB.'' Bosch said a 2009 study it conducted indicated DBS 
``may be effective'' in reducing injury-related rear-end crashes by 58 
percent and CIB by 74 percent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ See http://www.Regulations.gov, NHTSA-2015-0006 for 
complete copies of comments submitted. Those submitting comments 
were: Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), Alliance of 
Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance), American Honda Motor Co., Inc. 
(Honda), American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), Association of 
Global Automakers, Inc. (AGA), Automotive Safety Council, Inc. 
(ASC), Consumers Union (CU), Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. 
(Continental), DENSO International America, Inc. (DENSO), Ford Motor 
Company (Ford), Infineon Technologies (Infineon), Insurance 
Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Malik Engineering Corp. 
(Malik), Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA), Motor and Equipment 
Manufacturers Association (MEMA), National Automobile Dealers 
Association (NADA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), 
Robert Bosch, LLC (Bosch), Subaru of America (Subaru), Tesla, and 
TRW Automotive (TRW).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The ASC, Bosch, IIHS, MEMA, and, TRW addressed the desirability of 
NHTSA harmonizing its AEB NCAP test procedures and other evaluation 
criteria with other consumer information/rating programs, particularly 
Euro NCAP. Other commenters urged harmonization with Euro NCAP with 
respect to specific details.
    Many commenters (Alliance, AGA, ASC, Continental, Ford, Honda, 
IIHS, MEMA) stated that they would like NHTSA to harmonize the SSV used 
in NCAP with the target vehicle used in Euro NCAP Advanced Emergency 
Braking System (AEBS) tests. Commenters also asked for harmonization 
with specific technical areas such as brake application magnitude and 
rate, brake burnishing and test speeds.
    NHTSA plans to establish minimum performance criteria in the two 
test procedures for CIB and DBS to be recommended to consumers in NCAP. 
Comments on these test procedures were broad and very detailed. 
Advocates suggested stronger criteria. Manufacturers suggested changes 
to various parts of the test procedures.
    Several commenters argued against the introduction of another SSV 
to the vehicle testing landscape and urged NHTSA to adopt a preexisting 
SSV instead to avoid imposing added vehicle testing costs on the 
vehicle manufacturing industry. Specifically, AGA, ASC, Continental, 
Ford, Honda, IIHS, and Tesla asked NHTSA to specify the Allgemeiner 
Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V. (ADAC) target vehicle that is used by 
Euro NCAP and IIHS. Bosch supported harmonization of surrogate test 
vehicles generally.
    The Alliance asked for further development of the SSV equipment and 
tow frame structure to eliminate the use of the lateral restraint 
track. The association asked that NHTSA harmonize the SSV propulsion 
system with that of the ADAC propulsion system used by Euro NCAP.
    The Alliance said that since the new SSV is not readily available, 
its members have not been able to conduct a full set of tests to assess 
the repeatability and reproducibility of the SSV relative to the ADAC 
barrier or other commercially available test targets.
    The Alliance requested additional clarification about the SSV 
initial test set-up to maintain the intended accuracy and repeatability 
of tests. Members of the Alliance also requested clarification 
regarding the definition of the target ``Zero Position'' coupled with 
the use of deformable foam at the rear bumper. Other SSV concerns 
raised by AGA were that the energy absorption of the SSV should be 
increased to minimize potential damage to the subject vehicle in the 
event of an impact, that the color of the lateral restraint track used 
in conjunction with the SSV be changed to avoid its being interpreted 
as being a lane marking by camera-based classification of lanes, that 
the possibility that the SSV could be biased toward radar systems, and 
how the SSV may appear to camera systems in various lighting 
conditions.
    Some of the comments went beyond the changes discussed in the 
January 2015 notice. The AMA said that all AEB systems included in NCAP 
should be able to detect and register a motorcycle. If not, vehicle 
operators may become dependent on these new technologies and cause a 
crash, because the system did not detect and identify a smaller 
vehicle. Advocates, AGA, Bosch, CU, Continental, Honda, IIHS, MEMA, and 
NTSB said they would like a rating system for advanced crash avoidance 
technologies, including CIB and DBS, which reflects systems' 
effectiveness. Honda urged NHTSA to include pedestrian and head-on 
crashes among the types of crashes that are covered by NCAP evaluation 
of AEB systems in the future.

IV. Response to Comments and Agency Decisions

    The majority of comments received were from the automobile 
industry. No commenter opposed including AEB systems in NCAP.
    By including CIB and DBS systems in NCAP as Recommended Advanced 
Technologies, we will be providing consumers with information 
concerning advanced safety systems on new vehicles offered for sale in 
the United States. The vehicle models that meet the NCAP performance 
tests offer effective countermeasures to assist the driver in avoiding 
or mitigating rear-end crashes. In addition, the agency believes 
recognizing CIB and DBS systems that meet NCAP's performance measures 
will encourage consumers to purchase vehicles that are equipped with 
these systems and manufacturers will have an incentive to offer more 
vehicles with these systems.

[[Page 68607]]

    Comments focused on the details of how the inclusion of AEB systems 
into NCAP should be administered. The agency's responses to the 
comments received are below.

A. Harmonization

    The Alliance, AGA, ASC, Continental, Ford, Honda, IIHS, and MEMA 
stated that they would like NHTSA to harmonize the SSV used in NCAP 
with the target vehicle used in Euro NCAP. Some commenters requested 
that NHTSA use the Euro NCAP towing system. They also wanted similar 
performance criteria, such as identical test scenarios, identical 
speeds, and identical tolerances.
    NHTSA has carefully examined Euro NCAP specification and procedures 
for AEB technologies. The agency has decided against redirecting the 
program toward harmonization for several reasons, as discussed in more 
detail below.
    For AEB systems and their application to the U.S. market, NHTSA's 
benefit estimation and test track performance evaluations began five 
years ago. This work is documented in three reports, ``Forward-Looking 
Advanced Braking Technologies Research Report'' (June 2012), 
``Automatic Emergency Braking System Research Report'' (August 2014), 
and ``NHTSA's 2014 Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) Test Track 
Evaluations'' (May 2015) with accompanying draft CIB and DBS test 
procedures.
    Early into its test track AEB evaluations, NHTSA staff members met 
with representatives of Euro NCAP. Among the matters discussed at that 
time was the need for a realistic-appearing, robust test target that 
accurately emulated an actual vehicle. Specific attributes included a 
need to (1) be ``realistic'' (i.e., be interpreted the same as an 
actual vehicle) to systems using radar, lidar, cameras, and/or infrared 
sensors to assess the potential threat of a rear-end crash; (2) be 
robust (able to withstand repeated impacts with little to no change in 
shape over time); (3) not impose harm to the test driver(s) or damage 
to the test vehicle under evaluation; and (4) be capable of being 
accurately and repeatably constructed.
    Euro NCAP, as of 2014, included AEB systems in the technologies it 
rates in its ``Safety Assist'' assessments. The ratings for ``Safety 
Assist'' systems are in turn combined with ratings for adult occupant 
protection, child occupant protection, and pedestrian protection to 
determine a vehicle's overall rating. Euro NCAP assessments of AEB 
systems adopted the use of a target vehicle developed by ADAC. Known as 
the Euro NCAP Vehicle Target (EVT), this target is comprised of an 
inflatable and foam-based frame with PVC cover. The outside of the 
cover features a rear-aspect image of an actual car and retro-
reflective film over the taillights. Internally, the EVT includes a 
combination of shapes and materials selected to be provide realistic 
radar return characteristics. To provide longitudinal motion, the EVT 
is towed.
    At the time of its initial AEB evaluations, NHTSA attempted to 
evaluate the EVT device. We attempted to purchase an EVT from ADAC, but 
we were ultimately unable to obtain the device and its propulsion 
system. To avoid research program delays, NHTSA decided to develop and 
manufacturer its own strikeable surrogate vehicle. Like the EVT, the 
design goal of the NHTSA equipment was to be as safe, realistic, and 
functional as possible. The NHTSA SSV and tow equipment are both 
commercially available, and the drawings for the equipment are publicly 
available.
    NHTSA has developed a carbon fiber strikeable surrogate vehicle 
(SSV) that uses original equipment taillights, reflectors, brake lights 
and a simulated license plate. These features help define the SSV so 
that it will be interpreted by a vehicle's AEB sensing system as being 
an actual vehicle. We believe that the SSV is a target vehicle that 
better mimics real vehicles than other target vehicles because its 
radar signature more closely resembles that of an actual vehicle. We 
will be using the SSV in the AEB validation testing to confirm that AEB 
systems meet the agency's performance criteria.
    Manufacturers do not need to use the SSV to generate and submit 
data in support of their AEB systems that are recommended to consumers 
on www.safercar.gov. However, if the vehicle cannot satisfy the minimum 
performance criteria of the AEB NCAP program when tested by, the 
vehicle will not be able to retain its credit for the recommendation of 
AEB system by NCAP.
    We will continue to look for ways in which U.S. NCAP and other 
consumer vehicle safety information programs around the world, 
particularly Australasian NCAP, Euro NCAP and the Insurance Institute 
for Highway Safety can harmonize and complement each other. We expect 
one of the benefits of the U.S. NCAP and other NCAP programs having 
different test procedures will be that these programs will eventually 
have data that could support how best to modify these programs 
harmonize some elements of the programs while retaining other elements 
that are unique and necessary to each programs.

B. Rating System for Cash Avoidance Technologies in NCAP

    Advocates, AGA, Bosch, CU, Continental, Honda, IIHS, MEMA, and NTSB 
said they would like a rating system for advanced technologies, 
including CIB and DBS, which reflects systems' effectiveness. AGA said 
CIB and DBS should each be rated separately. AGA pointed out that some 
CIB and DBS systems already in the marketplace would not pass the NCAP 
performance criteria, but would still provide safety benefits. AGA 
stated that information regarding these safety benefits would not reach 
consumers under the current pass/fail approach. AGA further noted that 
Euro NCAP gives credit to vehicles for the tests they do pass.
    In the January 28, 2015 request for comments, the agency sought 
comment on our plans to add AEB to the list of Recommended Advanced 
Technologies, a feature which appears on the agency's Web site 
www.safercar.gov, but did not seek comments on whether such a rating 
should appear on motor vehicles.
    The agency fully recognizes that published requests for comments 
provide an opportunity for the public to address not only issues 
specifically raised in the request for comments, but also to express 
concerns in other areas. We will consider these comments in evaluating 
future changes to NCAP.

C. Draft Test Procedures \13\
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    \13\ See http://www.Regulations.gov, NHTSA-2012-0057-0038 for 
copies of the test procedures that were the basis of comments 
received.
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1. AEB Performance Criteria Stringency
    While supporting NHTSA's plan to establish minimum performance 
criteria that AEB systems must meet to be recommended to consumers in 
NCAP, Advocates criticized the planned AEB performance criteria as 
being insufficiently stringent. The Advocates' comments focused on the 
speeds at which Euro NCAP testing is conducted, including:
     Speeds up to 31 mph (50 kilometers per hour (km/h)) such 
that 19 percent of the possible points for Euro NCAP AEB are awarded 
for performance at approach speeds above the planned NHTSA NCAP 
testing.
     Lead vehicle stopped scenarios are tested at subject 
vehicle speeds of a range of 6 to 31 mph (10 to 50 km/h), as compared 
with the planned NHTSA NCAP lead vehicle stopped test which will be 
conducted at a single speed of

[[Page 68608]]

25 mph (40 km/h) and permit impact at speeds up to 15 mph (24 km/h).
    The Advocates further noted that Euro NCAP is proposing to 
incorporate additional, more stringent AEB tests and ratings in its 
star rating system beginning in 2016. These will include:
     Lead vehicle stopped scenarios at subject vehicle (SV) 
speeds up to 50 mph (80 km/h).
     Lead vehicle moving slower tests with a SV speed of 19 to 
50 mph (30 to 80km/h) approaching a principal other vehicle (POV) 
moving at 12 mph (20 km/h), for a closing speed of 7 to 38 mph (11 to 
61 km/h). Advocates noted that the planned NHTSA approach would include 
lead vehicle moving slower tests with SV/POV speeds of 25/10 mph (40/16 
km/h) and 45/20 mph (72/32 km/h), for a maximum closing speed of 25 mph 
(40 km/h).
     Lead vehicle braking tests with SV/POV speeds at 31/31 mph 
(50/50 km/h) with a lead vehicle deceleration of 0.2 to 0.6g (2 and 6 
meters per second squared [m/s\2\]).
    Conversely, the Alliance suggested we reduce the stringency of the 
performance criteria by deleting the lead vehicle stopped scenarios 
entirely.
    The proposed NCAP test scenarios and test speeds are in part based 
on crash statistics, field operational tests, and testing experience. 
In developing the scenarios and test speeds for this test program we 
considered work done to develop the forward collision warning 
performance tests. In reviewing the information concerning crashes, we 
noted that the most common rear-end pre-crash scenario is the Lead-
Vehicle-Stopped, at 16 percent of all light vehicle rear-end crashes 
(975,000 crashes per year).\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ ``Pre-Crash Scenario Typology for Crash Avoidance 
Research'', DOT HS 810 767, April 2007, Table 13.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In evaluating the test speeds we considered the practicality of 
safely performing crash avoidance testing without damaging test 
vehicles and/or equipment should an impact with the test target occur 
during testing. Testing vehicles at speeds over 45 mph (72 km/h) may 
have safety and practicality issues. Testing at speeds over 45 mph (72 
km/h), the speed used in NCAP's forward collision warning test, could 
potentially cause a safety hazard to the test driver and the test 
engineers. The problem arises if the vehicle being tested fails to 
perform as expected. For the FCW tests, warning system failure is not a 
problem because the nature of the test allows the test driver to steer 
away from the principal other vehicle, without any vehicle-to-vehicle 
contact. However, for the AEB tests, there can be no evasive steering. 
At speeds over 45 mph (72 km/h), we believe that the test vehicles in 
the AEB program might experience frontal impact of the subject vehicle 
into the principal other vehicle if there is a system failure or speed 
reduction that does not result in a reduction of velocity of 25 mph (40 
km/h). This may be a hazard to the test drivers and to people around 
the test track. Also potential front end damage at higher speeds, for 
the same reasons, may have unacceptable test program delays or make 
completion of the tests impractical. If front end damage to the test 
vehicle occurs, the agency would have to repair the test vehicle and 
recalibrate its sensing system. This might take weeks to repair and to 
restart the testing.
    Another upper speed limitation is the practicality of running the 
tests. For example, the Lead Vehicle Decelerating test becomes 
difficult. The SSV rides on a 1500-ft (457 m) monorail to constrain its 
lateral position within the test lane, an attribute that helps improve 
the accuracy and repeatability that the slower moving and decelerating 
lead vehicle scenarios may be performed. However, this track length is 
too short to safely accelerate the SSV to 45 mph (72 km/h), establish a 
steady state SV-to-SSV headway (to insure consistent test input 
conditions), then safely decelerate the SSV to a stop at 0.3g; 
conditions like those specified in the FCW NCAP decelerating lead 
vehicle test scenario. These logistic restrictions have prevented NHTSA 
from evaluating the durability of the SSV when subjected to the forces 
of being towed at 45 mph (72 km/h). To address these concerns, the NCAP 
CIB and DBS Decelerating Lead Vehicle tests are designed to be 
performed from 35 mph (56 km/h).
    We believe the test vehicle speeds specified in this program, (25, 
35 and 45 mph) (40, 56 and 72 km/h) represent a large percentage of 
severe injuries and fatalities and represent the upper limit of the 
stringency of currently available test equipment.
    We are therefore retaining the test speeds in the test procedures.
2. Brake Activation in DBS Testing, Profile, Rate and Magnitude
a) Brake Input Profile Selection
    The Alliance suggests that because of the differences in DBS design 
and performance abilities among vehicles (i.e. brake pads and rotors, 
tires, suspension, etc.), the vehicle manufacturers should be allowed 
to specify the brake input. (Brake input does not apply to the CIB test 
because the CIB test does not include brake input in the subject 
vehicle.) Vehicle manufactures thus far have taken several approaches 
to DBS system activation based on brake pedal position, force applied, 
displacement, application rate time-to-collision, or a combination of 
these characteristics. All of these characteristics can represent how a 
driver reacts in a panic stop, versus a routine stop. The Alliance 
suggests the agency should use the same characteristic used by the 
vehicle manufacturer, to assure the system is activated the way the 
manufacturer has intended. Conversely they indicate the agency should 
not dictate a specific application style and create an unrealistic 
triggering condition.
    In the previous version of the DBS test procedures (August 2014), 
commenters pointed out that the brake characterization process used 
would typically result in decelerations that exceeded the allowable 
0.3g. In order to address this concern, NHTSA evaluated a revised 
characterization process that now include a series of iterative steps 
designed to more accurately determine the brake application magnitudes 
capable of achieving the same baseline (braking without the effect of 
DBS) deceleration of 0.4g for all vehicles. This deceleration level is 
very close to the deceleration realized just prior to actual rear-end 
crashes, and is consistent with the application magnitude used by Euro 
NCAP during its test track-based DBS evaluations. This process is 
included, in great detail, in the updated version of the DBS test 
procedure.
(b) Brake Application Rate
    The Alliance pointed out that the brake pedal application rate of 
279 mm/s maximum for DBS activation differs from Euro NCAP, where the 
application rate can be specified by a manufacturer as long as it is 
within a range of 200 to 400 mm/s (8 to 16 in/s). Noting that there 
will always be differences in dynamic abilities between vehicles, the 
Alliance said that specifying the rate to 279 mm/s increases the DBS 
system's sensitivity and can lead to more false activations. The 
Alliance suggested that NCAP harmonize with Euro NCAP to allow 
manufacturers the option to specify a brake pedal application rate 
limit beyond 279 mm/s, up to 400 mm/s.
    MBUSA provided a bit more detail in its comments. MBUSA noted that 
values above 360 mm/s are more representative of emergency braking 
situations and will be addressed in vehicle designs using conventional 
brake assist rather than AEB.

[[Page 68609]]

    In a preliminary version of its DBS test procedure, NHTSA specified 
a brake application rate of 320 mm/s. Feedback from industry suggested 
this was too high, indicating it was at or near the application rate 
used as the trigger for conventional brake assist. This is problematic 
because the agency wants to provide NCAP credit for DBS, not for 
conventional brake assist, if the vehicle is so-equipped. To address 
this problem, the application rate was reduced to 7 in/s (178 mm/s) in 
the June 2012 draft DBS test procedure. Feedback from vehicle 
manufactures was that this reduction to 178 mm/s went too low. A system 
able to activate DBS with such a brake application rate on the test 
track may potentially result in unintended activations during real-
world driving. As an alternative, multiple vehicle manufacturers 
suggested the application rate be increased to 10 in/s (254  25.4 mm/s). This value was implemented in the August 2014 draft 
DBS test procedure.
    The Euro NCAP procedure specifies a range of brake pedal 
application speed of 7.9 to 15.8 in/s (200-400 mm/s). MBUSA noted that 
values significantly above 14.2 in/s (360 mm/s) are more representative 
of emergency braking situations and are addressed by conventional brake 
assist not using forward looking sensor technology.
    Information provided over the course of this program has caused us 
to initially select a value less than 360 mm/s and greater than 178 mm/
s. We recommend 254  25.4 mm/s, and we have no substantive 
basis to change this value again. Moreover, this value is well within 
the range of the Euro NCAP specification. The value of 254 mm/s appears 
a reasonable representation of the activation of DBS in an attempt to 
stop, rather than slow down, but not fast enough to represent an 
aggressive emergency panic stop of greater than 360 mm/s.
    We are retaining the proposed values of 254  25.4 mm/s 
(10 in/s  0.1 in/s) for the brake pedal application rate on 
the DBS test.
(c) Brake Application Magnitude
    The Alliance commented that the braking deceleration threshold 
should be 0.4g (4.0 m/s\2\) or higher. Citing Euro NCAP's specification 
for pedal displacement to generate a deceleration of 0.4g (4.0 m/s\2\), 
The Alliance said using brake performance of at least 0.3g (3 m/s\2\) 
deceleration as a threshold for DBS activation, as in the draft NCAP 
test procedure, will lead to calibrations too sensitive and generate 
excessive false positives or overreliance on the system.
    The Alliance said the threshold for DBS intervention should be 
toward the upper acceptable deceleration rates for adaptive cruise 
control systems. These upper rates are up to 0.5g (5 m/s\2\) at lower 
speeds and up to 0.35g (3.5 m/s\2\) at higher speeds. The Alliance 
believes that a lower position for 0.3g (3 m/s\2\) will lead to 
calibrations too sensitive in the real world and will generate 
excessive false positives or overreliance on the system.
    MBUSA said NHTSA's proposed magnitude of 0.3g (3 m/s\2\) more 
closely resembles standard braking. It recommended brake pedal 
application magnitude of near 0.4g (4 m/s\2\) that truly represents a 
hazard braking situation. MBUSA said that according to its field test 
data, the median brake amplitudes that occur ahead of real-world DBS 
activations are closer to 0.425g (4.3 m/s\2\). MBUSA noted that for 
Euro NCAP DBS testing, a brake magnitude of 0.4g (4 m/s\2\) is used.
    The brake characterization process described in NHTSA's August 2014 
draft DBS test procedure was intended to provide a simple, practical, 
and objective way to determine the application magnitudes used for the 
agency's DBS system evaluations. In this process, a programmable brake 
controller slowly applies the SV brake with a pedal velocity of 1 in/s 
(25 mm/s) from a speed of 45 mph (72 km/h). Linear regression is then 
applied to the deceleration data from 0.25 to 0.55g to determine the 
brake pedal displacement and application force needed to achieve 0.3g. 
These steps are straight-forward and the per-vehicle output is very 
repeatable. However, when these outputs are used in conjunction with 
the brake pedal application rate used to evaluate DBS (i.e., rates ten 
times faster than used for characterization), the actual decelerations 
typically exceed 0.3g. Although this is not undesirable per se (crash 
data suggest the braking realized just prior to a rear-end crash is 
closer to 0.4g), the extent to which these differences exist has been 
shown to depend on the interaction of vehicle, brake application 
method, and test speed.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ See http://www.Regulations.gov, NHTSA 2012-0057-0037.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To address this concern, NHTSA has revised the characterization 
process to include a series of iterative steps designed to more 
accurately determine the brake application magnitudes capable of 
achieving the same baseline (braking without the effect of DBS) 
deceleration of 0.4g for all vehicles. The deceleration level is very 
close to the deceleration observed just prior to many actual rear-end 
crashes,\16\ and is consistent with the application magnitude used by 
Euro NCAP during its test track-based DBS evaluations. Vehicle 
manufacturers have told NHTSA that encouraging DBS systems designed to 
activate in response to inputs capable of producing 0.4g, not 0.3g, 
deceleration will reduce the potential for unintended DBS activations 
from occurring during real-world driving.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ See http://www.Regulations.gov, NHTSA 2012-0057-0037.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA will adopt its revised brake characterization process, and 
include it as part of the DBS procedure. This process will ensure 
baseline braking for each test speed, (25, 35, and 45 mph) will be 
capable of producing 0.4  0.025g.
3. Use of Human Test Driver Versus Braking Robot
    TRW advocated the use of a human driver in DBS testing to reduce 
the test setup time and reduce the testing costs. Bosch supports the 
test procedures as currently written calling for the use of a braking 
robot in both CIB and DBS testing.
    While the NHTSA AEB test procedures can be performed with human 
drivers, satisfying the brake application specifications in the DBS 
test procedures would be challenging for a human driver. The agency 
acknowledges that some test drivers are capable of performing most or 
all of the maneuvers in this program within the specifications in the 
test procedures. However, we believe a programmable (i.e. robotic) 
brake controller can more accurately reproduce the numerous braking 
application specifications debated in this notice. Moreover, as these 
technologies evolve and the algorithms are refined to create earlier, 
more aggressive responses to pending crashes, while at the same time 
avoiding false positives, the specifications for the test parameters 
may become more complex and more precise. The agency will continue to 
conduct all of the DBS NCAP tests using a brake robot.
    Manufacturers, suppliers and test laboratories working for these 
entities may choose not to use a brake robot, nor do they need to 
follow the test procedures exactly. However they should be confident 
their alternative methods demonstrate their systems will pass NHTSA's 
tests because NHTSA will conduct confirmation testing as outlined 
above. If a system fails NHTSA's confirmation testing, the

[[Page 68610]]

vehicle in question will not continue to receive credit for its DBS 
system.
4. Brake Burnishing
    NHTSA indicated we plan to use the brake burnishing procedure from 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 135, ``Light vehicle 
brake systems.'' IIHS said this is more pre-test brake applications 
than is needed. IIHS said its research shows that brake performance can 
be stabilized for AEB testing with considerably less effort. It cited a 
test series of its own involving seven vehicle models with brand new 
brakes in which AEB performance stabilized after conducting 60 or fewer 
of the stops prescribed in FMVSS No. 135. IIHS said its AEB test 
results after all 200 brake burnishing stops were not appreciably 
different from those conducted after following the abbreviated 
procedure described in FMVSS No. 126, ``Electronic stability control 
systems.''
    Ford urged NHTSA to adopt the Euro NCAP's brake burnishing 
procedure and tire characterization from the Euro NCAP AEB protocol, 
which it said can be completed in a few hours.
    Tesla said the test procedures' specification for a full FMVSS No. 
135 brake burnish is not clearly explained. They asked about how often 
the burnishing had to be conducted and how the brakes are to be cooled.
    FMVSS No. 135 ``Light vehicle brake systems'' is NHTSA's light 
vehicle brake performance standard. The purpose of the standard is to 
ensure safe braking performance under normal and emergency driving 
conditions. The burnish procedure contained in FMVSS No. 135 is 
designed to ensure the brakes perform at their optimum level for the 
given test condition and to ensure that test result variability is 
minimized. The burnish procedure in FMVSS No. 135 includes 200 stops 
from a speed of 80 km/h (49.7 mph) with sufficient brake pedal force to 
achieve a constant deceleration of 3.0 m/s\2\ (0.3g). It also specifies 
a brake pad temperature range during testing.
    The commenters suggested reducing the burnishing for two reasons. 
First, they want to reduce the testing burden. The IIHS states that 
their research shows that the foundation brake performance can be 
stabilized after considerably less effort. Their testing showed 
performance stabilization after 60 stops. Second, others want the 
procedure to be harmonized with the Euro NCAP. The Euro NCAP brake 
burnish procedure includes 13 stops total and a cool-down and is 
otherwise identical to the brake conditioning in FMVSS No. 126.
    The agency has considered these comments. The agency believes that 
a full 200-stop burnishing procedure is critical to ensuring run-to-run 
repeatability of braking performance during AEB testing and also 
ensures that the vehicle's brakes performance does not change as the 
test progresses. The intent of the 200-stop burnishing is deemed the 
appropriate procedure for ensuring repeatability of brake performance 
in FMVSS No. 135, the agency's light vehicle brake system safety 
standard. The performance measured in these AEB tests relies on the 
vehicle's braking system to reduce speed in order to mitigate or avoid 
a crash with the test target. Since the agency has adopted the 200-stop 
procedure as the benchmark for repeatable brake performance, dropping 
the number of stops might create a repeatability situation for some 
brake system designs and therefore a repeatability situation for some 
AEB systems. Therefore, the agency will test AEB consistently with its 
light vehicle brake system tests in FMVSS No. 135.
    Tesla said the need for a full FMVSS No. 135 brake burnish is not 
clearly explained. They interpreted the test procedure to specify brake 
burnishing before each and every test run.
    Tesla misunderstands the test procedure. NHTSA will perform the 
200-stop brake burnish only one time prior to any testing unless any 
brake system pads, rotors or drums are replaced, in which case the 200-
stop burnish will be repeated. After the initial burnish, additional 
lower-speed brake applications are done only to bring the brake 
temperatures up to the specified temperate range for testing.
    Tesla also suggested that NHTSA should better explain how, and to 
what extent, the agency expects the brakes to be cooled before 
conducting each individual test run and series of runs. Tesla said 
adding these cooling procedures will have test performance 
implications.
    The process of driving the vehicle until the brake cools below a 
temperature between 65 [deg]C (149 [deg]F) and 100 [deg]C (212 [deg]F) 
or drive the vehicle for 1.24 miles (2 km), whichever comes first, has 
been an accepted practice in brake testing such as in FMVSS No. 135 
testing. It is the brake temperature at the time of the test, not how 
that temperature was obtained, that is the reportedly critical 
characteristic in brake performance. Moreover, specifying an overly-
detailed procedure may not result in desired temperature. The amount of 
heating or cooling may be affected by the vehicle design and the 
ambient conditions of the testing. Alterations in the process may be 
needed to achieve the temperature range.
    For the AEB test procedures, NHTSA is maintaining its use of the 
brake burnish procedure and the initial brake temperature range 
currently used in its light vehicle brake standard, FMVSS No. 135.
5. Feasibility and Tolerances
    TRW said the test procedures may not completely cover the control 
and tolerance around the deceleration of the POV during the Lead 
Vehicle Decelerating (LVD) portions of the test. It cited as an 
example, that brakes were applied to a level providing deceleration of 
0.3g with a tolerance of +/- 0.03g, but the ability to control that 
parameter was not among the list of items used for the validity of test 
criteria, nor is it present in the test procedure for how to monitor 
and control that parameter for test validity.
    The agency disagrees with TRW that the parameter was not among the 
list of items used for the validity of a test criteria. The test 
procedure for this parameter is described in the section titled ``POV 
Brake Application. The test procedure provided details of this 
specification, such as the beginning or onset of the deceleration 
period, the nominal constant deceleration, the time to achieve the 0.3g 
deceleration, and the average tolerance of the deceleration after the 
nominal 0.3g deceleration is achieved, and the point at which the 
measurement is finished. We believe TRW is stating that this 
description of the deceleration parameters is not itemized in the list 
of 10 items specified in the section ``SV Approach to the Decelerating 
POV''. This list contains items that must be controlled during the 
entire test, not just during the deceleration period. Since the 
deceleration does not occur during the entire test we will not be 
adding the specification to this list. The fact that the specifications 
are listed makes these deceleration specifications necessary for a 
valid test, even though the word ``valid'' does not appear in the 
section called ``POV Brake Application''.
    TRW states that the test procedures do not specify how the test 
laboratory will monitor the declaration parameters. NHTSA has 
recommended in Table 2 of the test procedures that the contractor will 
need to have an accelerometer to measure the longitudinal deceleration 
of the SV and POV. These instrumentation recommendations include 
specifications for the range, resolution and accuracy of these 
instruments. The test procedure does not specify how the contractor is 
to monitor or control the acceleration

[[Page 68611]]

during this test. As much as possible, the agency specifies performance 
specifications, not design specifications. We depend on the expertise 
of the contractor to achieve these performance goals. We then monitor 
the output of this performance.
6. Lead Vehicle Stopped Tests (Scenarios)
    MEMA supported the planned AEB test scenarios as representative of 
typical, real[hyphen]world driving occurrences. It said the scenarios 
are appropriate ways to evaluate CIB and DBS systems.
    The Alliance said the lead vehicle stopped test should be deleted 
and the agency should only uses the lead vehicle deceleration to a stop 
test because 50 percent of police-reported cases rear-end crashes coded 
as lead stopped vehicle are actually lead vehicle decelerating to a 
stop. They argued such a change would permit more affordable systems 
and would reduce false activations.
    In the August 2014 research report,\17\ we adjusted estimates of 
AEB-relevant rear-end crashes by splitting the estimated number of 
police-reported lead-vehicle-stopped crashes evenly between lead 
vehicle stopped and lead vehicle decelerating to a stop. This change 
was made based on comments to the 2013 AEB request for comments and 
additional analysis of the crash data.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ http://www.Regulations.gov, Docket NHTSA-2012-0057-0037.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The use of the lead stopped vehicle scenarios is very important. 
Even if 50 percent of the lead-vehicle stopped crashes are re-
classified as lead vehicle decelerating to a stop, hundreds of 
thousands of lead-vehicle stopped crashes still occur each year. For 
this reason, and to be consistent with the Euro NCAP tests, NHTSA does 
not believe it is appropriate to exclude the lead-vehicle stopped 
scenario from the CIB and DBS performance evaluation.
    Based on the test track testing we have conducted since 2013, we 
have found that vehicles able to satisfy our LVS evaluation criteria 
also do so for the LVD-S test scenario. However, not all vehicles that 
pass our LVD-S pass the LVS scenarios.
    Therefore we have decided to reduce the test burden by removing the 
lead vehicle deceleration to a stop (LVD-S) test and retaining the lead 
vehicle stopped (LVS) test.
7. False Positive Tests (Scenarios)
    AGA, ASC and TRW said only radar-based AEB systems will react to 
NHTSA's steel trench plate based false positive test, whereas other 
types of systems, camera- and lidar-based for example, will not be 
affected. AGA said that unless a test that could challenge both camera 
and radar systems can be identified, the false positive test should be 
dropped. MEMA also noted that since radar systems are sensitive to the 
steel trench plate false positive test, this may impact the comparative 
nature of radar versus other systems such as camera or lidar sensors. 
MEMA encouraged NHTSA to evaluate the procedure and continue to make 
further improvements to avoid any potential test bias.
    TRW suggested two other possible false positive tests, one that 
would reflect ``the most typically observed false-positive AEB event'' 
a dynamic passing situation and the other in which the test vehicle 
drives between two stationary vehicles. Bosch said there is no single 
test that will fully address the problem of false activations.
    The Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership (CAMP) Crash Imminent 
Braking (CIB) Consortium endeavored to define minimum performance 
specifications and objective tests for vehicles equipped with FCW and 
CIB systems. While assessing the performance of various system 
configurations and capabilities, the CAMP CIB Consortium also 
identified real-world scenarios capable of eliciting a CIB false 
positive.\18\ Additionally, two scenarios from an ISO 22839 
``Intelligent transport systems--forward vehicle collision mitigation 
systems--Operation, performance, and verification requirements'' 
(draft) were used to evaluate false positive tests, two tests with 
vehicles in an adjacent lane. The CAMP study originally documented real 
world situations that could be used to challenge the performance of the 
systems, such as an object in roadway, an object in a roadway at a 
curve entrance or exit, a roadside stationary object, overhead signs, 
bridges, short radius turns, non-vehicle and vehicle shadows, and 
target vehicles turning away.\19\ NHTSA performed a test program of six 
of the CAMP-identified scenarios that could produce a positive. The 
eight maneuvers selected and tested by NHTSA in considering a false-
positive test were decelerating vehicle in an adjacent lane--straight 
road, decelerating vehicle in an adjacent lane--curved road, driving 
under an overhead bridge, driving over Botts' Dots in the roadway, 
driving over a steel trench plate, a stationary vehicle at a curve 
entrance, a stationary vehicle at a curve exit, and a stationary 
roadside vehicle.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ ``Evaluation of CIB System Susceptibility to Non-
Threatening Driving Scenarios on the Test Track'', July 2013, DOT HS 
811 795.
    \19\ ``Objective Tests for Automatic Crash Imminent Braking 
(CIB) Systems Appendices Volume 2 of 2'', September 2011, DOT HS 811 
521A.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    During testing we found that all CIB activations presently known by 
NHTSA are either preceded by or are coincident with FCW alerts. For the 
testing, we use the FCW warning as a surrogate for the CIB and DBS 
activations. Of the maneuvers used in the study, FCW activations were 
observed during the conduct of four scenarios: Object in roadway--steel 
trench plate, stationary vehicle at curve entrance, stationary roadside 
vehicles, and decelerating vehicle in an adjacent lane of a curve. Of 
the maneuvers capable of producing an FCW alert, CIB false positives 
were observed only during certain Object in Roadway--Steel Trench Plate 
tests, and for only one vehicle. The vehicle producing the CIB false-
positives did so for 100 percent of the object in roadway--steel trench 
plate tests trials. No FCW or CIB activations were observed during the 
decelerating vehicle in an adjacent lane (straight), driving under an 
overhead bridge, objects in roadway--Botts' Dots, and stationary 
vehicle at curve exit maneuvers.
    The steel trench plate was the easiest to set up, the least complex 
to perform, and a realistic test because the scenario is encountered 
during real world driving. Also, the steel trench plates are similar to 
some metal gratings found on bridges. The steel trench plate used in 
this program is believed to impose similar demands on the system 
functionality, albeit with better test track practicality (i.e., cost, 
expediency, and availability).
    Both the agency and some commenters believe that a false-positive 
test should be included in this program. Conversely, commenters state 
that the steel trench plate test is biased against radar systems.
    The agency will retain the steel trench plate false-positive test 
in this program and will continue to monitor vehicle owner complaints 
of false positive activations. The agency has received consumer 
complaints of false-positives of these AEB systems. This program should 
make an effort to reduce false-positives in the field. We believe a 
false-positive test is important to be included in the performance 
tests for these technologies. We disagree that the steel trench plate 
is biased against radar systems. The agency establishes performance-
based tests. The purpose of the performance specifications in this 
program is to discern and discourage systems that do not perform 
sufficiently in real-world scenarios. If the steel trench plate 
identifies a notable

[[Page 68612]]

performance weakness in system, that weakness should be pointed out to 
consumers.
    It is impossible to recreate every possible source of false-
positive activations experienced during real-world driving. The steel 
trench plate tests are included as one significant common source of 
false positives during our CIB and DBS test track evaluations. We 
encourage vehicle manufactures to include identified false-positive 
scenarios in system development. If in the future, other scenarios 
become prevalent and are brought to our attention through consumer 
complaints, we will consider including them in our test protocol.
8. Steel Plate Weight
    Noting that the steel trench plate currently specified in the test 
weighs 1.7 tons and is difficult to put in place, AGA urged the agency 
to allow an alternative plate if manufacturers can verify its 
performance. Concerning the weight of the steel trench plate, the test 
procedures do not specify this plate to be positioned on a part of the 
test track used for other tests. The plate is not installed or 
embedded, merely laid on top of a road surface. We do not see a need to 
be concerned with weight or the size of this test item. We are not 
developing a lighter weight version of this plate at this time.
9. DBS False Activation Test Brake Release
    The Alliance requested that the brake application protocol and 
equipment for the DBS steel trench plate scenario test procedure should 
provide specification for a pedal release by the driver during the 
false positive test. The Alliance states that some systems have 
mechanisms that allow the driver to release the DBS response if a false 
activation occurs. One of the simplest and most intuitive mechanisms is 
for the driver to release the brake pedal. This is not in the DBS false 
positive test.
    The agency does not agree with the Alliance's recommendation that a 
way for the driver to override false positives should be provided in 
the test scenario. The purpose of the false-positive test is to ensure 
that they do not occur during this performance test. If the vehicle's 
DBS system activates in reaction to the steel trench plate, then this 
is the kind of false-positive for which the test procedure is designed 
to identify. The agency feels that the potential consequences of a 
false positive are sufficient to warrant a test failure.
    The agency has decided not to add a brake release action to the 
false-positive test procedures.
10. CIB False Activation Test Pass/Fail Criteria
    The Alliance and Bosch commented that the allowable CIB steel plate 
test deceleration threshold of 0.25g was too low. Bosch and the 
Alliance observed that some current state-of-the-art forward collision 
warning (FCW) portion of these AEB systems in the market use a brake 
jerk to warn the driver. The majority of the current brake-jerk 
applications for FCW use a range of 0.3g-0.4g and the maximum speed 
reduction normally does not exceed 3 mph (5 km/h), Bosch said. Bosch 
suggested increasing the threshold of the CIB false activation failure 
to 0.4g or using a maximum speed reduction, rather than peak 
deceleration rate, as the key factor for determining a pass/fail result 
for this test. Setting the fail point of the false activation test at 
0.25g would restrict haptic pedal warning design to below 0.25g.
    The steel plate test is intended to evaluate CIB performance. This 
test is not intended to evaluate a haptic FCW capable of producing a 
peak deceleration of at least 0.25g before completion of the test 
maneuver. To make this distinction clear, we will raise the false 
positive threshold to a peak deceleration of 0.50g for CIB, and 150 
percent of that realized with foundation brakes during baseline braking 
for DBS.
11. Pass/Fail Criteria for the Performance Tests
    The Alliance, Honda, AGA and Ford said that the determination that 
AEB technologies will pass each of the tests in the test procedure 
seven out of eight times should be changed to be consistent with the 
five passes out of seven trials that is specified by the NCAP forward 
collision warning (FCW) test procedures. The Alliance and Ford noted 
that the agency did not provide data to support the seven out of eight 
criterion approach. Ford presented the results of a coin toss 
experiment, which it said indicated that the five out of seven criteria 
covers 93.8 percent of all possible outcomes, a level whose robustness 
compares favorably to the 99.6 percent of all possible outcomes covered 
by the seven out of eight criterion.
    Tesla said the planned test procedures include too many tests.
    NHTSA notes that for the FCW NCAP, the vehicle must pass five out 
of seven trials of a specific test scenario, to pass that scenario. The 
vehicle must pass all scenarios to be recommended.
    The agency believes the current FCW test procedure criterion of 
passing five out of seven tests has successfully discriminated between 
functional systems versus non-functional systems. Allowing two failures 
out of seven attempts affords some flexibility in including emerging 
technologies into the NCAP program. For example, NHTSA test 
laboratories have experienced unpredictable vehicle responses, due to 
the vehicle algorithm designs, rather than the test protocol. Test 
laboratories have seen systems that improve their performance with use, 
systems degrading and shutting down when they do not see other cars, 
and systems failing to re-activate if the vehicle is not cycled through 
an ignition cycle.
    To be in better alignment with the FCW NCAP tests, we are changing 
the pass rate for the CIB and DBS tests used for NCAP to five out of 
seven tests within a scenario.
12. Vehicle Test Weight/Weight-Distribution
    AGA said the current test protocol allows testing a vehicle up to 
the vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). The Alliance noted 
that the Euro NCAP AEB test protocol defines the vehicle weight 
condition as 1% of the sum of the unladen curb mass, plus 
440 lb (200 kg). AGA asked that the test protocol be amended to include 
an upper weight limit, similar to the way that Euro NCAP's AEB test 
specifies the vehicle to be loaded with no more than 440 lb (200 kg). 
Specifically, the Alliance recommended replacing the current language 
in Section 8.3.7 of the current CIB and DBS test procedures with:

    ``7. The vehicle weight shall be within 1% of the sum of the 
unloaded vehicle weight (UVW) plus 200kg comprised of driver, 
instrumentation, experimenter (if required), and ballast as 
required. The front/rear axle load distribution shall be within 5% 
of that of the original UVW plus 100% fuel load. Where required, 
ballast shall be placed on the floor behind the passenger front seat 
or if necessary in the front passenger foot well area. All ballast 
shall be secured in a way that prevents it from becoming dislodged 
during test conduct.''

    The agency inventoried the current loads used at our test 
laboratory. The instrumentation and equipment currently used weighs 
approximately 170 lb (77 kg). Allowing two occupants in the vehicle 
could push the total load over 440 lb (200 kg) upper bound suggested by 
AGA and he Alliance.
    The agency would like to reserve the flexibility of having an 
additional person in the vehicle during testing to assist in the 
testing process, observe the tests and perhaps train on the testing

[[Page 68613]]

process. Also, we measured the effects of our standard load of one 
driver plus the instrumentation and equipment on weight distribution, 
and found that the percentage of weight on the front axle tended to 
increase by about 1 percent, on average. We assume adding a passenger 
in the rear seat would be approximately the same. This is well within 
the 5 percent variance from the unloaded weight as suggested by the 
Alliance.
    We have considered the comments that vehicle weight and weight 
distribution will have a large effect on the performance of CIB 
systems. We believe that this comment concerns both the vehicle sensing 
system alignment and braking performance repeatability. If it is true 
that weight and weight distribution consistent with predictable 
consumer usage have a large effect on the performance of CIB systems, 
this is a concern of the reliability of these systems to consumers.
    The agency will specify a maximum of 610 lb (277 kg) loading in 
these test programs. This will allow some test equipment and personnel 
flexibility, while still maintaining some reasonable cap on the loading 
changes. We also note that we may raise this limit on a case-by-case 
basis and in consultation with the vehicle manufacturer, if there is a 
need for additional equipment or an additional person that we have not 
anticipated at this time.
13. Lateral Offset of SV and SSV; Test Vehicle Yaw Rate
    AGA urged the agency to adopt the +/-1 ft (0.3 m) lateral offset 
and 1 degree per second yaw rate specifications that were in previous 
versions of the test procedures as opposed to the +/-2 ft (0.6 m) in 
the latest version to improve test accuracy and better reflect 
anticipated real world conditions. DENSO agreed that the 1 foot lateral 
offset (0.3 m) and 1 degree per second yaw rate should be restored. 
MEMA also noted the change in yaw and lateral orientation of the SV and 
POV from the 2012 draft test procedures to the 2014 test procedure 
draft and asked for clarification. The Alliance noted that the 
allowable vehicle yaw rate in each test run has been increased to +/-2 
degrees per second from +/-1 degree per second in the previous versions 
of the test procedures. Bosch recommended that NHTSA consider using a 
steering robot or some other means of controlling the lateral offset.
    Confirming this tolerance range may be difficult with the ADAC EVT 
surrogate used by Euro NCAP and other institutions because the 
surrogate's position relative to the road or the subject vehicle is not 
directly measured. The measurement equipment is stored in the tow 
vehicle, not in the ADAC surrogate.
    Review of the NHTSA's 2014 AEB test data indicate that decreasing 
the lateral displacement tolerance from 2 ft to 1 ft (0.6 m to 0.3 m) should not be 
problematic. Of the 491 tests performed, only 13 (2.7 percent) had SV 
lateral deviations greater than 1 ft (0.3 m). Those that did ranged 
from 1.06 to 1.21 ft (0.32 m to 0.37 m). The use of the SSV monorail 
makes conducting the test within the allowable 1-ft lateral 
displacement this feasible because the SSV position is controlled by 
the monorail.
    Through testing conducted by the NCAP contractor, we have 
determined that we should be able to satisfy the tighter tolerance. 
Testing performed by NHTSA's VRTC support this finding. We believe we 
can perform this testing with a human driver steering the vehicle, 
rather than a steering robot.
    For SV yaw rate, we will tighten the test tolerance to 1 deg/sec. For the SV and POV, we will tighten the test tolerance 
to 1 ft (0.3 m) relative to the center of the 
travel lane. The lateral tolerance between the centerline of the SV and 
the centerline of the POV will be tightened to 1 ft (0.3 
m). Additionally, we will be filtering these data channels with a 3 Hz 
digital filter (versus the 6 Hz used previously) to eliminate short 
duration data spikes that would invalidate runs that are otherwise 
valid. We are also eliminating the lateral offset and yaw rate validity 
specifications for the brake characterization (12.2.1.5 and 6) and 
false positive baseline tests (12.6.1.5 and 6) of the DBS test 
procedure. This data is not needed to ensure detection and braking 
repeatability; with no POV in these tests, it is not necessary to be in 
the exact center of the lane, for example.
14. Headway Tolerance
    Subaru recommended in its comment that NHTSA adopt a headway 
tolerance of 5 ft (1.5 m) in the test procedures. No explanation of why 
this is needed was provided in the comments. The headway tolerance is 
the allowable variance in the longitudinal distance between the front 
of the subject vehicle and the rear of the principal other vehicle 
ahead of it as the two vehicles move. The current tolerance is 8 ft (2.4 m).
    A review of our test data reveals a 5 feet (1.5 m) tolerance is too 
tight unless the agency were committed to fully-automated AEB testing 
is conducted. At this time we do not plan to fully automate the two 
test vehicles (the SV and the vehicle towing the POV). The 8 ft (2.4 m) 
tolerance currently specified in our AEB procedures for the LVD tests 
is the same used for FCW NCAP testing. We are not aware of this 
tolerance causing any problems in AEB testing. We will leave the 
tolerance at 8 ft (2.4 m).
15. Speed Range, Upper and Lower Limits
    The Alliance, AGA, Continental, Ford, Honda, IIHS, and MBUSA said 
the activation limits of the test procedures are too high at the upper 
end and too low at the lower end or otherwise took issue with the speed 
parameters of the test procedures.
    AGA objected to specifying systems to operate up to 99.4 mph, 
noting that 80 percent of crashes covered by these systems occur at 
speeds of 50 mph or less. The high speed will preclude systems that are 
very effective and will create safety hazards for test drivers and test 
tracks, AGA added.
    Continental said although it is listed as a definition, the CIB/DBS 
active speed range is described as a performance specification, which 
they said makes it unclear if NHTSA's intent that the definition speed 
range must be met in order to receive the NCAP recommendation. If this 
is the case Continental said it would be necessary to define the 
associated performance criteria to meet the specification that the 
system must remain active, especially at the maximum speed, to achieve 
the balance between effectiveness and false positives at these 
specified higher speeds.
    As suggested by Continental's comments, the upper and lower 
activation limits were intended to define the AEB systems under 
consideration. There is no need to define these systems in the test 
procedure with a reference to their upper and lower activation limits. 
The agency hopes that the systems made available on light vehicles sold 
in the United States will be active at these speeds. However, the 
primary focus is to assure that AEB systems meet the specifications of 
the test procedures and activate at the speeds at which an AEB system 
can reasonably be expected to avoid or mitigate a rear end crash. 
Therefore, the references to the upper and lower activation limits will 
be removed from the NCAP AEB test procedures.
16. DBS Throttle Release Specification
    The Alliance states the current throttle release specification 
within 0.5 seconds from the onset of the FCW warning will result in 
test results that

[[Page 68614]]

are different between manufacturers. This specification in the DBS test 
procedure was established to simulate the human action of removing the 
foot from the throttle and placing it on the brake. In the test setup, 
the test driver releases the throttle at a specific time to collision 
relative to the DBS brake robot braking initiating the brake 
application. System design strategies across manufacturers vary on how 
to ascertain when a driver needs assistance and are often based on 
driver inputs on the steering wheel and pedals. The Alliance suggests 
that to avoid future interference with the optimization of warning 
development, we should consider other options.
    The Alliance requested that the agency consider the following 
options:
    Maintain Throttle Position to the Onset of Brake Application: The 
agency believes this is not possible for vehicles such as the Infiniti 
Q50. For this vehicle, part of the FCW is a haptic throttle pedal that 
pushes back up against the driver's foot. This change in pedal position 
would violate a constant pedal position criterion. While it may be 
possible to hold the throttle pedal position fixed with robotic 
control, NHTSA has not actually evaluated the concept, and the agency 
does not plan to use a robot on subject vehicle throttle applications 
during the FCW and/or AEB performance testing.
    Throttle Release Relative to a Braking Initiation Time to Collision 
(TTC): In this approach the driver monitors the SV-to-POV headway, and 
responds at the correct instant. Although NHTSA has experience with 
this technique,\20\ the agency has concerns about incorporating it into 
the LVS, LVM, and LVD scenarios used to evaluate DBS because the agency 
does not intend to automate SV throttle applications for these tests. 
Since the brake applications specified in NHTSA's DBS test procedure 
are each initiated at a specific TTC, this approach would also cause 
the throttle release to occur at a specific TTC. If this causes the 
commanded throttle release occur after the FCW is presented, it may not 
be possible for the driver to maintain a constant throttle pedal 
position between issuance of the FCW and the commanded throttle release 
point. The driver maintaining a constant throttle may result in the SV-
to-POV headway distance changing and move out of the specified headway 
tolerance. While this may be possible with robotic control of the 
throttle, NHTSA has not actually evaluated the concept.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ NHTSA's false positive DBS tests are performed in the 
presence of the steel trench plate, since this plate does not cause 
the FCW to activate for many light vehicles, the DBS test procedure 
includes a provision for the SV driver to release the throttle at a 
fixed TTC if the FCW does not activate before a TTC = 2.1s.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OEM Defined Throttle Release Timing: NHTSA would like to minimize 
vehicle manufacturers' input on how their vehicles should be evaluated.
    The agency will not make a test procedure change at this time. We 
believe it is possible for the SV driver to repeatably release the 
throttle pedal within 0.5 s of the FCW, and that any reduction of 
vehicle speed between the time of the throttle pedal release and the 
onset of the brake application is within the test procedure 
specifications. Human factors research indicates that when presented 
with an FCW in a rear-end crash scenario, driver's typically (1) 
release the throttle pedal then (2) apply the brakes.\21\ Therefore, 
the speed reduction that occurs between these two points in time has 
strong real-world relevance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ ``Development of an FCW Algorithm Evaluation Methodology 
With Evaluation of Three Alert Algorithms--Final Report,'' June 2009 
Figure 5. DOT HS 811 145
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

D. Suggested Additions to Test Procedures

1. Accounting for Regenerative Braking
    Tesla expressed concern that the test procedures as currently 
written do not account for totally or partially electric vehicles that 
utilize regenerative braking to recharge batteries. Tesla urged NHTSA 
to clarify protocols for EV and hybrid vehicles, specifically regarding 
regenerative braking.
    Regenerative braking is an energy-preservation system used to 
convert kinetic (movement) energy back to another form, which in the 
case of an electric vehicle, is used to charge the battery. The reason 
it is called ``braking'' is that the vehicle is forced to decelerate by 
this regenerative system, once the driver's foot is taken off of the 
throttle. This system is independent of the standard brake system but 
the result is the same; the vehicle slows down.
    NHTSA's direct experience with testing a vehicle equipped with AEB 
and regenerative braking has been limited to the BMW i3. As expected, 
once the driver released the throttle pedal in response the FCW alert, 
regenerative braking did indeed slow the vehicle at a greater rate than 
for other vehicles not so equipped with regenerative braking. This had 
the effect of reducing maneuver severity since the SV speed at the time 
of AEB intervention was less than for vehicles not so-equipped. This is 
not considered problematic.
    For vehicles where the driver can select the magnitude of the 
vehicle's regenerative braking (e.g., the Tesla Model S), the vehicle's 
AEB system will be evaluated in its default mode (as originally 
configured by the vehicle manufacturer).
2. Customer-Adjustable FCW Settings
    The Alliance noted that in some CIB and DBS applications, system 
performance may take into account the warning timing setting of the FCW 
system when the FCW system allows the consumer to manually set the 
warning threshold. To clarify, the Alliance recommended that the 
following language, which is adapted from the FCW NCAP test procedure 
(Section 12.0), be included in the CIB and DBS NCAP test procedure: 
``If the FCW system provides a warning timing adjustment for the 
driver, at least one setting must meet the criterion of the test 
procedure.''
    In its previous work involving FCW, the agency has allowed vehicle 
manufacturers to configure the systems with multiple performance level 
modes. This provided vehicle manufacturers flexibility in designing 
consumer acceptable configurations. The test procedure allowed an FCW 
mode that provides the earliest alert if the timing can be selected and 
used during agency testing. Additionally, the test procedures do not 
include resetting to the original setting after ignition cycles.
    NHTSA believes that as a consumer information program, we should 
test the vehicles as delivered. We also believe the performance level 
settings of the FCW systems within the AEB test program should now be 
set similar to the AEB. The Alliance requested that we have language in 
the test procedure specifying that if there are adjustments to the FCW 
system, one setting must meet the criterion of the test procedure. 
Vehicle manufacturers may provide multiple settings for the FCW 
systems. However, the agency will only use the factory default setting 
for both the FCW and the AEB systems in the AEB program.
3. Sensor Axis Re-Alignment
    The Alliance commented that when the SV hits the SSV in some 
trials, the impact may misalign the system's sensors. To ensure 
baseline performance in each trial, the Alliance asked that the test 
procedure be modified to allow the vehicle manufacturer representatives 
or test technicians to inspect and, if needed, re-align the sensor axis 
after each instance of contact between the subject vehicle and the SSV.

[[Page 68615]]

    NHTSA has seen two cases of sensor misalignment during the initial 
development of this program. In one case, the subject vehicle had 
visible grill damage because the AEB system did not activate and the 
test vehicle hit the SSV at full speed. In another case, the vehicle 
sensing system shut down after numerous runs; inspection also revealed 
visible grill damage to the subject vehicle. In both cases, the 
vehicles were returned to an authorized dealer, repaired and then 
returned to the test facility.
    The NCAP test program has instituted two new procedural 
improvements to monitor for system damage. First, we began testing with 
less-severe tests, such as the lead vehicle moving test first, to 
determine if the vehicle system is capable of passing any of the tests. 
Second, we have instituted more rigorous visual between-vehicle 
inspections by the contractor during the testing. Based on our 
observations in testing, we believe systems that have sensor damage 
will likely show visible grill damage.
    With the improvements in the AEB systems and refinement of our test 
protocol, we do not believe sensor misalignments will be a significant 
problem. We invite vehicle manufacturer representatives to attend each 
of our tests. We reserve the right to work with the vehicle 
manufacturers on a one-on-one basis if we have problems with the 
vehicles during the tests.
4. Multiple Events--Minimum and Maximum Time Between Events
    The Alliance and Ford asked that the AEB test procedures specify a 
minimum time of 90 seconds and a maximum time of 10 minutes between 
each test run as in Euro NCAP AEBS test procedures. Some AEB systems 
initiate a fail-safe suppression mechanism when multiple activations 
are triggered in a short time. Most systems can be activated again with 
an ignition key cycle. In most cases activation of the suppression 
mechanism can be avoided by including a time interval between 
individual AEB activations or by cycling the ignition. The current test 
procedure addresses this by checking for diagnostic test codes (DTCs) 
to determine if any system suppression or error codes have occurred 
with the sensing system software.
    The agency agrees that there should be a minimum of 90 seconds 
between test runs and will modify the AEB test procedures to state this 
explicitly. We recognize that the algorithms in these vehicles look for 
conditions that are illogical, such as multiple activations in short 
periods of time, and within a single ignition cycle. The time needed to 
allow the subject vehicle brakes to cool and the test equipment to be 
reset between each test trial has always exceeded 90 seconds in the 
agency's testing experience. The agency will also specify in the test 
procedures that the vehicle ignition be cycled after every test run.
    The agency believes a maximum time between test runs of 10 minutes 
is too short to be feasible. The test engineers need sufficient time to 
review data, inspect the test equipment and set up for the next test 
run. Also recall that the test engineers need time to ensure the 
vehicle brake temperatures are within specification and the brake 
system is ready for the next test run. Additionally, it is impractical 
to specify that all of the tests must be completed within 10 minute 
cycles while conversely specify that testing be discontinued if ambient 
conditions are out of specifications. At this time, we are unaware of 
any algorithm-based reason why testing must be resumed in less than 10 
minutes.
5. Time-to-Collision (TTC) Definition
    The Alliance observed that the TTC values used in the test 
procedures are calculated in the same manner as they are in the current 
NCAP FCW test procedure, but noted that the TTC calculation equations 
are not included in the draft CIB and DBS test procedures. The Alliance 
asked that, for clarification purposes, the TTC equations that appear 
in Section 17.0 of the NHTSA NCAP FCW test procedure dated February 
2013 be added to the CIB and DBS test procedures.
    The agency acknowledges that the TTC calculations for the FCW test 
procedure are the same as these test procedures. The TTC calculations 
that are included in the NCAP FCW test procedures will be added to the 
AEB test procedures, as requested in the comments. This will make it 
clear that the TTC equations apply to the AEB test procedures as well.

E. Strikeable Surrogate Vehicle (SSV)

1. Harmonization Urged
    NHTSA's strikeable surrogate vehicle (SSV) was discussed earlier in 
this notice. Multiple commenters encouraged NHTSA to harmonize with 
Euro NCAP and to use the ADAC EVT in lieu of the SSV. The commenters 
had concerns about the use of the SSV. They asked NHTSA to establish a 
maintenance process for the SSV. They questioned whether parts such as 
the MY 2011 Ford Fiesta vehicle's taillights, rear bumper reflectors 
and third brake light can be a part of the SSV indefinitely (i.e., will 
parts continue to be built). The Alliance, Ford, and Continental took a 
moderate position, supporting calls for harmonization but acknowledging 
all the work that went into developing the SSV. Other commenters 
proposed NHTSA could potentially use the SSV target in conjunction with 
the EVT propulsion system used by Euro NCAP. Concern was also expressed 
over the SSV setup, the number of facilities capable of performing the 
actual test maneuvers, the additional test costs, and the problem of 
damage to the subject vehicles.
    AGA said NHTSA could provide an option for manufacturers to use an 
alternative test devices of Euro NCAP or IIHS. Both Euro NCAP and IIHA 
use ADAC EVT.
    Tail light availability is not expected to be a problem for the 
foreseeable future. However, if this should this become an issue, 
simulated taillights, an updated SSV shell, or potentially other 
changes could be made to replace the current model.
    Overall, the AEB system sensors interpret the SSV appears to 
sensors as a genuine vehicle. Nearly all vehicle manufacturers and many 
suppliers have assessed how the SSV appears to the sensors used for 
their AEB systems. The results of these scans have been very favorable.
    Although the SSV has been designed to be as durable as possible, 
its various components may need to be repaired or replaced over time. 
As with all other known surrogate vehicles used for AEB testing, the 
frequency of repair or replacement is strongly dependent on how the 
surrogate is used, particularly the number of high speed impacts 
sustained during testing.
    With regards to availability, the specifications needed to 
construct the SSV are in the public domain.\22\ Multiple sets of the 
SSV and the tow system have been manufactured and sold to vehicle 
manufactures and test facilities. The SSV can be manufactured by anyone 
using these specifications. With regard to other issues like cost and 
convenience of use, we feel the SSV is within the range of practicality 
as a test system. In relation to other motor vehicle test systems, the 
SSV system is reasonably priced and can be moved from test facility to 
test facility.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ http://www.regulations.gov, Docket NHTSA-2012-0057.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While we appreciate the concerns about the SSV expressed in the 
comments, we will continue to specify

[[Page 68616]]

the SSV in the NCAP AEB test procedures that NHTSA will use to confirm 
through spot checks that vehicles with AEB technologies and for which a 
manufacturer has submitted supporting data meet NCAP performance 
criteria. As noted previously this does not require use of the SSV by 
manufacturers for their own testing.
2. Repeatability/Reproducibility
    The Alliance said because the SSV is not readily available, its 
members have not been able to conduct a full set of tests to assess the 
repeatability and reproducibility of the SSV in comparison with other 
commercially available test targets.
    NHTSA is aware that the SSV is a relatively new test device and 
that every interested entity may not have had a chance to perform a 
comprehensive series of SSV evaluations or seen how it is actually 
used. However the specifications needed to construct the SSV are in the 
public domain and multiple SSVs have been manufactured and sold to 
vehicle manufacturers and test facilities. A test report describing the 
SSV repeatability work performed with a Jeep Grand Cherokee has 
recently been released.\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ Forkenbrock, GJ & Snyder, AS (2015, May) NHTSA's 2014 
Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) Test Track Evaluation (Report No. 
DOT HS 812 166). Washington DC, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Lateral Restraint Track (LRT)
    Commenters were concerned with the lateral restraint track (LRT). 
They felt the LRT was not needed. The permanent installation of the LRT 
used up track space and made it hard to move testing activities to 
another test track.
    Some commenters indicated that if the LRT used to keep the SSV 
centered in its travel lane is white, it may affect AEB performance. 
This is because some camera-based AEB systems consider lane width in 
their control algorithms, and these algorithms may not perform 
correctly if the LRT is confused for a solid white lane line. Although 
NHTSA test data does not appear to indicate this is a common problem, 
the NHTSA test contractor is using a black LRT to address this 
potential issue. The black LRT appears more like a uniform tar strip 
that has been used to seal a long crack in the center of the travel 
lane pavement, a feature present on real-world roads.
    NHTSA appreciates these concerns but believes the continued use of 
the LRT is important. LRT is designed to insure several things, 
including that the SSV will be constrained within a tight tolerance to 
optimize test accuracy and repeatability. Using the LRT to absolutely 
keep the path of the SSV within the center of the lane of travel, in 
conjunction with the lateral tolerances defined in the CIB and DBS test 
procedures, will allow the agency to test AEB systems in a situation 
where one vehicle is approached by another vehicle from directly 
behind. To reduce the potential for unnecessary interventions, some AEB 
systems contain algorithms that can adjust onset of the automatic brake 
activation as a function of lateral deviation from the center of the 
POV. This is because it will take less time for the driver to steer 
around the POV if the lateral position of the SV is biased away from 
its centerline. Although this may help to minimize nuisance activations 
in the real-world, the same algorithms may contribute to test 
variability during AEB NCAP evaluations if excessive lateral offset 
exists between the SV and POV. Since the use of the LRT prevents this 
from occurring, it is expected the agency's tests will allow AEB 
systems to best demonstrate their crash avoidance or mitigate 
capabilities.
    Ford suggested that NHTSA use the ADAC EVT propulsion system with 
the SSV to increase feasibility for manufacturers. NHTSA believe the 
inherent design differences between the SSV and ADAC surrogates makes 
using the ADAC EVT propulsion system with the SSV a considerable 
challenge. Design changes to the SSV and/or ADAC EVT rig would be 
needed. It is not possible to simply substitute the SSV for the ADAC 
EVT surrogate on the ADAC rig as Ford suggests. Even if the ADAC EVT 
could be adapted, and even though it appears to track well behind a tow 
vehicle, the precise position of the ADAC EVT is not measured, so the 
lateral offset cannot be quantified.
    Commenters expressed concern on the allowable lateral offset and 
yaw rate tolerance in the AEB test procedures placing considerable 
emphasis on the importance of narrowing the tolerances in these areas. 
AGA said the lateral offset and yaw rate in August 2014 draft test 
procedures (+/- 2 ft (0.3 m) lateral offset and +/- 2 deg/s yaw rate) 
can create a delay in AEB system response that could affect a system's 
performance during and AEB test. DENSO agreed that a higher tolerance 
in lateral offset and yaw rate tends to decrease forward looking sensor 
detection performance. The Alliance too weighed in on this saying, that 
``the variability in lateral offset is expected to have a significant 
impact on test reproducibility and system performance and resultant 
rating,'' adding that the yaw rate should be +/- 1 deg/s to be 
consistent with the FCW test procedure given the fact that AEB systems 
use the same sensors as FCW systems. As discussed earlier, we have 
agreed to tighten the yaw rate and lateral offset tolerance. This makes 
the tight control provided by the LRT even more important to the 
performance of these tests.
    Until the agency has an indication that an alternative approach to 
moving the SSV down a test track can ensure the narrow tolerances for 
lateral offset and yaw rate, the LRT will remain in the AEB test 
procedures. Our contractor has already installed a black LRT. Thought 
this does not completely disguise the restraint track, it is close to 
being masked for a camera-based AEB system.
4. What is the rear of the SSV? (Zero Position)
    NHTSA considers the rearmost portion of the SSV, or the ``zero 
position,'' to be the back of the foam bumper. The Alliance suggested 
the rearmost part of the SSV should be defined by its carbon fiber 
body, not its foam bumper. The Alliance said it has observed SV-to-SSV 
measurement errors of as much as 40 cm (15.7 in), and attributes them 
to their vehicle's sensors not being able to consistently detect the 
reflective panel located between the SSV's bumper foam and its cover.
    It has always been the agency's intention to make the rear of the 
SSV foam bumper detectable to radar while still having its radar return 
characteristics be as realistic as possible. This is the reason NHTSA 
installed a radar-reflective panel between the SSV's 8 in (20.3 cm) 
deep foam bumper and its cover; the panel is specifically used to help 
radar-based systems define the rearmost part of the SSV since the foam 
is essentially invisible to radar. We are presently working to identify 
the extent to which AEB systems have problems determining the overall 
rearmost position of the SSV. NHTSA considers the outside rear surface 
of foam bumper, immediately adjacent to the radar-reflective material 
to be the ``zero position'' in its CIB and DBS tests, and is 
considering ways to better allow AEB systems to identify it.
5. Energy Absorption, Radar System Bias
    Other concerns mentioned by commenters include design changes to 
the SSV: Increasing energy absorption and minimizing a perceived bias 
towards radar systems based on the SSV's appearance in certain lighting 
conditions which may be challenging for camera systems. We believe the 
SSV appears to be a real vehicle to most

[[Page 68617]]

current AEB systems, regardless of what sensor or set of sensors the 
systems uses, and that the SSV elicits AEB responses representative of 
how the systems will perform in real world driving situations. The 
ability of the SSV to withstand SV-to-POV impacts appears to be 
adequate if the subject vehicles being evaluated produces even minimal 
speed reductions to mitigate them. We continue to evaluate SSV 
performance and will consider improvements.
    Some commenters indicated NHTSA should increase the padding to the 
SSV to reduce the likelihood of damage to the test equipment or to the 
SV during an SV-to-POV impact. When designing the SSV, we attempted to 
balance realism, strikeability, and durability. The body structure and 
frame of the SSV are constructed from carbon fiber to make them stiff 
(so that the shape remains constant like a real car), strong, and light 
weight. To enable SV-to-POV impacts, the SSV frame has design elements 
to accommodate severe impact forces and accelerations and an 8 in (20.3 
cm) deep foam bumper to attenuate the initial impact pulse. We are 
concerned that simply adding more padding to the rear of the SSV will 
reduce its realistic appearance, and potentially affect AEB system 
performance. Therefore, to address the potential need for additional 
SSV strikeability, the agency is presently considering an option to 
work with individual vehicle manufacturers to add strategically-placed 
foam to the SV front bumper to supplement the foam installed on the 
rear of the SSV. At this time, no changes to the appearance of the SSV 
are planned. Since temporary padding added to the subject vehicle does 
not alter that characteristics of the SSV nor affect the distance of 
the SSV to the vehicle sensors, we will not be adjust the zeroing 
procedure in the test procedure to compensate for this one-time padding 
addition.
    With regards to sensor bias, the SSV has been designed to be as 
realistic as possible to all known sensors used by AEB systems. While 
it is true that the SSV has a strong radar presence, use of the white 
body color and numerous high-contrast features (e.g., actual tail 
lights and bumper reflectors, simulated license plate, dark rear 
window, etc.) was intended to make it as apparent as possible to camera 
and lidar-based systems as well. Aside from inclement weather and 
driving into the sun, conditions explicitly disallowed by NHTSA's CIB 
and DBS test procedures, sensor limitations capable of adversely 
affecting the real-world detection, classification, and response of a 
SV to actual vehicles during real-world driving may also affect the 
ability of the SV to properly respond to the SSV. The agency considers 
this an AEB system limitation, not an SSV flaw.

F. Other Issues

1. Non-Ideal Conditions--Exclude Away From Sun as Well
    NHTSA's CIB and DBS test procedures both include a set of 
environmental restrictions designed to ensure that proper system 
functionality is realized during a vehicle's evaluation. One such 
restriction prohibits the SV and POV from being oriented into the sun 
when it is oriented 15 degrees or less from horizontal, since this can 
cause inoperability due to ``washout'' (temporary sensor blindness) in 
camera-based systems.
    DENSO commented that, in addition to prohibiting testing with the 
test vehicles oriented toward the sun when the sun is at a very low 
angle (15 degrees or less from horizontal) to avoid camera ``washout'' 
or system inoperability, the test procedures should also prohibit 
testing with vehicles oriented away from the sun (with the sun at low 
angle) which would harmonize this issue with Euro NCAP test procedure. 
MEMA agreed that wash out conditions experienced in low sun angle 
conditions for SV and POV oriented toward the sun may also occur when 
they are oriented away from the sun.
    To date, the agency's testing does not indicate that a low sun 
angle from the rear will adversely affect AEB system performance. 
Moreover, one of the agency's testing contractors indicates that 
restricting the sun angle behind as well as in front of the test 
vehicle will significantly reduce the hours per day that testing may be 
performed. If our ongoing experience suggests that this is a problem 
for vehicles equipped with a particular sensor or sensor set, we will 
consider making adjustments.
2. Multiple Safety Systems
    TRW inquired as to how safety systems other than AEB systems on a 
test vehicle would be configured during AEB testing. The company asked 
whether there would be provisions in the test procedure for turning off 
certain safety features in order to make the testing repeatable. It 
gave as an example some pre-crash systems that may be activated based 
on these tests.
    Due to the complexity and variance of vehicle designs the agency 
will deal with system conflicts on a one-on-one basis. The agency does 
not specify or recommend that vehicle manufacturers design and include 
cut-off provisions for the sole purpose of performing AEB tests.
3. Motorcycles
    The AMA said that all AEB systems included in NCAP should be able 
to detect and register a motorcycle. If not, vehicle operators may 
become dependent on these new technologies and cause a crash, because 
the system did not detect and identify a smaller vehicle, the 
organization said.
    AEB systems, while relatively sophisticated and available in the 
American new vehicle marketplace, are still nonetheless in the early 
stages of their development. Some may be able to detect motorcycles. 
Some may not be able to do so. Eventually, the sensitivity of these 
systems may increase to the point where detecting a motorcycle is 
commonplace among systems.
    The agency believes it would be benefit to highway safety move 
forward with this program at this time, even though it does not include 
motorcycle detection. By including AEB systems among the advanced crash 
avoidance technologies it recommends to consumers in NCAP, the agency 
expects more and more manufacturers to equip more and more new vehicles 
with these systems. As a result, many rear-end crashes and the 
resulting injuries and deaths will be avoided. The agency believes it 
will be beneficial to take this step even if the systems involved are 
not as capable of recognizing motorcycles today.
    We also do not have reason to believe that AEB systems are the type 
of technology likely to encourage over-reliance by drivers. DBS is 
activated based on driver braking input, and CIB is activated when for 
one reason or another, the driver has not begun to apply the brake. We 
do not think that in either scenario the driver is likely to drive 
differently under the assumption that the AEB system will perform the 
driver's task.
    The agency will continue to follow the ongoing development and 
enhancement of AEB systems and look for opportunities to encourage the 
development and deployment of systems that detect motorcycles.
4. How To Account for CIB/DBS Interaction
    Honda asked how the interrelationship between CIB and DBS should be 
treated, in situations in which CIB activates before the driver applies 
the brakes and DBS never activates.
    The brake applications used for DBS evaluations are activated at a 
specific point in time prior to an imminent

[[Page 68618]]

collision with a lead vehicle (time-to-collision) regardless of whether 
CIB has been activated or not. If CIB activates before DBS, the initial 
test speed and, thus, the severity of the test would effectively be 
reduced.
    TRW observed that one potential future trend to watch is that as 
industry confidence and capability to provide CIB functionality 
increases and the amount of vehicle deceleration is allowed to increase 
and be applied earlier in the process, the need for DBS as a separate 
feature may diminish. The potential goal of DBS testing would become 
one of proving a driver intervention during an AEB event does not 
detract from the event's outcome, TRW said.
    At this time, the agency is aware that many light vehicle DBS 
systems supply higher levels of braking at earlier activation times for 
the supplemental brake input compared to the automatic braking of CIB 
systems. Based on this understanding of current system design, our NCAP 
AEB test criteria for DBS evaluates crash avoidance resulting from 
higher levels of deceleration, whereas our CIB test criteria evaluates 
crash mitigation (with the exception of the CIB lead vehicle moving SV: 
25 mph/POV: 10 mph (SV:40 km/h/POV: 16 km/h) scenario, for which crash 
avoidance is required). NHTSA will keep the speed reduction evaluation 
criteria as planned for the CIB and DBS tests.
    Unless the agency uncovers a reason to be concerned about how the 
performance metrics of a test protocol may affect system performance in 
vehicles equipped with both CIB and DBS, the agency will recognize an 
AEB equipped vehicle as long as it passes the criteria of a given 
protocol, whether that occurs as a result of the activation of the 
particular system or a combination of systems.
5. Issues Beyond the Scope of This Notice
    Some commenters raised topics outside the scope of the notice, and 
they will not be addressed here.
    These include: A suggested two-stage approach to adding 
technologies to NCAP, a suggested minimum AEB performance regulation 
that would function in concert with NCAP, conflicts between rating 
systems that could cause consumer confusion, other technologies that 
should be added to NCAP in the future, and a call for flashing brake 
lights to alert trailing drivers that an AEB system has been activated.
    Other topics raised may be addressed as the agency's experience 
with AEB systems expands over time. These topics include: Using 
different equipment, including a different surrogate vehicle; a call to 
study the interaction of the proposed CIB/DBS systems with tests for 
FMVSS Nos. 208 and 214 to assess whether such features should be 
enabled during testing and what the effect may be; a suggestion that 
the agency should consider the role electronic data recorders (EDRs) 
may play in assessing AEB false positive field performance; and concern 
as to how safety systems on a test vehicle other than AEB systems would 
be dealt with during AEB testing, such as some pre-crash systems that 
may be activated based on these tests.
    A suggestion was made that the agency should consider the potential 
interactions of AEB systems with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) 
communications technology, both in how AEB tests might be performed and 
what the performance specifications for those tests should be. The 
agency is monitoring the interaction of these capabilities.

V. Conclusion

    For all the reasons stated above, we believe that it is appropriate 
to update NCAP to include crash imminent braking and dynamic brake 
support systems as Recommended Advanced Technologies.
    Starting with Model Year 2018 vehicles, we will include AEB systems 
as a recommended technology and test such systems.

(Authority: 49 U.S.C. 32302, 30111, 30115, 30117, 30166, and 30168, 
and Pub. L. 106-414, 114 Stat. 1800; delegation of authority at 49 
CFR 1.95.)

    Issued in Washington, DC, on: October 21, 2015.

    Under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.95.
Mark R. Rosekind,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2015-28052 Filed 11-4-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P