Request for Comment on “Federal Automated Vehicles Policy”, 65703-65705 [2016-22993]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 185 / Friday, September 23, 2016 / Notices Respondent Universe: 41 railroad carriers. Reporting burden: Annual PTC progress report Respondent universe Total annual responses Average time per response Form FRA F 6180.166 ......................................... 41 railroads .................. 41 reports/forms ........... 38.41 hours .................. FRA notes that the 38.41-hour estimate is an average for all railroads. FRA estimated the annual reporting burden is 60 hours for Class I and large passenger railroads, 40 hours for Class II and medium passenger railroads, and 25 hours for Class III, terminal, and small passenger railroads. Total Estimated Annual Responses for Form FRA F 6180.166: 41. Total Estimated Annual Burden for Form FRA F 6180.166: 1,575 hours. Total Estimated Annual Responses for Entire Information Collection: 147,776. Total Estimated Annual Burden for Entire Information Collection: 3,126,039. Status: Regular Review. Under 44 U.S.C. 3507(a) and 5 CFR 1320.5(b) and 1320.8(b)(3)(vi), FRA informs all interested parties that it may not conduct or sponsor, and a respondent is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501–3520. Issued in Washington, DC, on September 20, 2016. Patrick T. Warren, Acting Executive Director. [FR Doc. 2016–22943 Filed 9–22–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2016–0090] Request for Comment on ‘‘Federal Automated Vehicles Policy’’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice and Request for Comments. AGENCY: NHTSA invites public comment on the document, ‘‘Federal Automated Vehicles Policy.’’ This document is intended as a starting point that provides needed initial guidance to industry, government, and consumers. It will necessarily evolve over time, changing based on public comment; the experience of the agency, manufacturers, suppliers, consumers, sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:22 Sep 22, 2016 Jkt 238001 65703 and others; and/or further technological innovation. NHTSA intends to revise and refine the document within one year, and periodically thereafter, to reflect such public input, experience, and innovation, and will address significant comments received in the next revision of this document. DATES: You should submit your comments early enough to ensure that Docket Management receives them no later than November 22, 2016. ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to the docket number above and be submitted by one of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. • Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Public Participation heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. • Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78) or at https:// www.transportation.gov/privacy. • Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov or to the street address listed above. Follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical issues: Mr. Frank Barickman, PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Total annual burden hours 1,575 Team Leader at NHTSA’s Vehicle Research and Test Center at (937) 666– 4511 or by email at av_info_nhtsa@ dot.gov. For legal issues: Mr. Steve Wood of NHTSA’s Office of Chief Counsel, at (202) 366–2992 or by email at steve.wood@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), under the U.S. Department of Transportation, was established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970, to carry out safety programs under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 and the Highway Safety Act of 1966. NHTSA is responsible for reducing deaths, injuries, and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes on our nation’s roadways. This is accomplished by conducting research, setting and enforcing safety performance standards for motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment, generating and disseminating comparative safety performance information to encourage the production and purchase of advanced safety features, requiring the calling and remedying of defective and noncompliant vehicles and equipment, and by making grants to state and local governments to enable them to conduct effective local highway safety programs. Prior or in addition to issuing standards, NHTSA also issues guidance regarding motor vehicle safety issues. Over the past several decades, many important safety technologies have become standard equipment through regulation and voluntary industry action, and tremendous adjustments in consumer behavior about safety have been made through behavioral safety programs and the promotion of these programs by safety partners. Despite these efforts and the hundreds of thousands of lives saved attributable to these efforts, crashes still happen, and people are still injured and killed. 35,092 people died on U.S. roadways in 2015. Moreover, NHTSA’s data suggest that 94% of crashes can be tied to a human choice or behavior.1 1 See Singh, S. (2015, February). Critical reasons for crashes investigated in the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey. (Traffic Safety Facts Crash Stats. Report No. DOT HS 812 115). E:\FR\FM\23SEN1.SGM Continued 23SEN1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 65704 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 185 / Friday, September 23, 2016 / Notices Technologies that can help drivers avoid crashes, or help vehicles themselves avoid crashes, are ushering in a new era of safety for the motoring public. As vehicle technologies take on more and more of the driving task—i.e., as vehicle automation progresses, enabled by radar, camera, sensors, and communications technologies, along with highly sophisticated computer systems and software to interpret and use the data obtained by the vehicle— these innovations are expected to begin to address and mitigate that overwhelming majority of crashes due to human choices or behavior. The term ‘‘vehicle automation’’ today refers to a spectrum of technologies, which can be grouped broadly into several levels. Some levels will only provide crash warnings to human drivers, or brake the vehicle automatically if the human driver fails to brake soon enough or hard enough, while higher levels will combine these abilities to create driver-assistance systems to reduce the demand of driving. At the very highest levels, the automated system itself (and not the human) may function as the ‘‘driver’’ of the vehicle. At each level, the safety potential grows as does the opportunity to improve mobility, reduce energy consumption and improve the livability of cities. To realize these tremendous benefits, NHTSA believes it should encourage the adoption of these technologies and support their safe introduction. At the same time, the remarkable speed with which increasingly complex technologies are evolving challenges NHTSA to use its full complement of tools to support the safe introduction of these technologies, so that they can provide the promised safety benefits today, and achieve their full safety potential in the future. To meet this challenge, NHTSA must continue to build its expertise and knowledge to keep pace with developments, expand its regulatory capability, and increase its speed of execution. After considerable input from a wide range of stakeholders, NHTSA has developed a new document titled ‘‘Federal Automated Vehicles Policy.’’ NHTSA is issuing this document as Agency guidance rather than in a rulemaking in order to speed the delivery of an initial regulatory framework and best practices to guide manufacturers and other entities in the safe design, development, testing, and deployment of highly automated vehicles (HAVs) and also to ensure that Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:22 Sep 22, 2016 Jkt 238001 premature, static regulatory requirements do not hinder innovation and diffusion of the dynamic technologies that are being developed in the industry. The document is available at www.nhtsa.gov/AV (or at http:// www.nhtsa.gov (search ‘‘AV Policy’’)), and also at http://www.regulations.gov (search Docket No. NHTSA–2016–0090). In the following pages, we divide the task of facilitating the safe introduction and deployment of HAVs into four sections: (1) Vehicle Performance Guidance for Highly Automated Vehicles; (2) Model State Policy; (3) NHTSA’s Current Regulatory Tools; and (4) New Tools and Authorities. Vehicle Performance Guidance for Highly Automated Vehicles The Vehicle Performance Guidance for Highly Automated Vehicles section outlines best practices for the safe predeployment design, development and testing of HAVs prior to commercial sale or operation on public roads. This Guidance defines ‘‘deployment’’ as the operation of an HAV by members of the public who are not the employees or agents of the designer, developer, or manufacturer of that HAV. This Guidance is intended to be an initial step to guide the safe designing, testing and deployment of HAVs. It sets DOT’s expectations of industry by providing reasonable practices and procedures that manufacturers, suppliers, and other entities should follow in the immediate short term to design, test and deploy HAVs. The data generated from these activities should be shared in a way that allows government, industry, and the public to increase their learning and understanding as technology evolves but protects legitimate privacy and competitive interests. Model State Policy The Model State Policy confirms that States retain their traditional responsibilities for vehicle licensing and registration, traffic laws and enforcement, and motor vehicle insurance and liability regimes while outlining the Federal role for HAVs. Today, a motorist generally can drive across state lines without a worry more complicated than, ‘‘did the speed limit change?’’ The integration of HAVs should not change that ability. Similarly, a manufacturer should be able to focus on developing a single HAV fleet that can be sold and used in all states. State governments play an important role in facilitating HAVs, ensuring they are safely deployed, and promoting their life-saving benefits. Since 2014, DOT has partnered with the PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) to explore HAV policies. This collaboration was one of the bases for the Model State Policy framework presented here and identifies where new issues fit within the existing federal/state structure. The shared objective is to ensure the establishment of a consistent national framework that allows for different policies and approaches across States, while avoiding a patchwork of incompatible laws. NHTSA’s Current Regulatory Tools NHTSA will continue to exercise its available regulatory authority over HAVs using its existing regulatory tools, including interpretations, exemptions, notice-and-comment rulemaking, and defects and enforcement authority. NHTSA has broad authority to identify safety defects, allowing the Agency to recall vehicles or equipment that pose an unreasonable risk to safety even when there is no applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS). To aid regulated entities and the public in understanding and using these tools (including for purposes related to the introduction of new HAVs), NHTSA has prepared a new information and guidance document, contained in Section III of the HAV Policy. This document provides instructions, practical guidance, and assistance to entities seeking to employ those tools. Furthermore, NHTSA has streamlined its review process and is committing to issuing simple HAV-related interpretations in 60 days, and ruling on simple HAV-related exemption requests in six months. NHTSA advises interested persons that, unlike the other sections of the HAV Policy, Section III is intended to have wider application outside the automated vehicles context. Persons interested in NHTSA’s general practices and procedures for interpretations, exemptions, rulemaking, and reconsideration petitions may wish to review Section III and determine whether they wish to submit comments. New Tools and Authorities The more effective use of NHTSA’s existing regulatory tools will help to expedite the safe introduction and regulation of new HAVs. However, in part because today’s governing statutes and regulations were developed when HAVs were only a remote notion, those tools alone may be insufficient to ensure that HAVs are introduced safely, and to realize the full safety promise of new technologies. The speed at which HAVs are advancing, combined with the E:\FR\FM\23SEN1.SGM 23SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 185 / Friday, September 23, 2016 / Notices sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES complexity and novelty of these innovations, will challenge the Agency’s conventional regulatory processes and capabilities. This challenge requires NHTSA to examine whether the ways in which NHTSA has addressed safety for the last several decades should be expanded to realize the safety potential of HAVs over the decades to come. Therefore, Section IV of the HAV Policy identifies potential new tools, authorities, and regulatory approaches that could aid the safe deployment of new technologies by enabling the Agency to be more nimble and flexible. There will always be an important role for standards and testing protocols based on careful scientific research and developed through the give-and-take of an open public process. However, it is likely that additional regulatory tools along with new expertise and research also will be needed to allow the Agency to more quickly address safety challenges and speed the deployment of lifesaving technology. Public Comment Although most of this policy is effective immediately upon publication, NHTSA is seeking public comment on the entire document. While the Agency sought input from various stakeholders during the development of the document, it recognizes that not all interested persons had a full opportunity to provide such input. Formal comments will allow for that opportunity. Similarly, some of the items in the vehicle performance guidance are subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act, which requires that the Agency provide separate notice and comment. The notice for those items will be published shortly at http://www.regulations.gov (search Docket No. NHTSA–2016–0091). Finally, NHTSA expects to hold public meetings and workshops associated with specific items in this Policy. Once the timing of those meetings has been finalized, Federal Register notices for those meetings will also be published. While the Policy is intended as a starting point that provides needed initial guidance to industry, government, and consumers, it will necessarily evolve over time to meet the changing needs and demands of improved safety and technology. Accordingly, NHTSA expects and intends the policy document and its guidance to be iterative, changing based on public comment; the experience of the agency, manufacturers, suppliers, consumers, and others; and further technological innovation. NHTSA intends to revise and refine the VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:22 Sep 22, 2016 Jkt 238001 document regularly to reflect such experience, innovation, and public input. Public Participation How do I prepare and submit comments? Your comments must be written and in English. To ensure that your comments are filed correctly in the docket, please include the docket number of this document in your comments. Your comments must not be more than 15 pages long (49 CFR 553.21). NHTSA established this limit to encourage you to write your primary comments in a concise fashion. However, you may attach necessary additional documents to your comments. There is no limit on the length of the attachments. Please submit one copy (two copies if submitting by mail or hand delivery) of your comments, including the attachments, to the docket following the instructions given above under ADDRESSES. Please note, if you are submitting comments electronically as a PDF (Adobe) file, we ask that the documents submitted be scanned using an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) process, thus allowing the agency to search and copy certain portions of your submissions. How do I submit confidential business information? If you wish to submit any information under a claim of confidentiality, you should submit three copies of your complete submission, including the information you claim to be confidential business information, to the Office of the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the address given above under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. In addition, you may submit a copy (two copies if submitting by mail or hand delivery), from which you have deleted the claimed confidential business information, to the docket by one of the methods given above under ADDRESSES. When you send a comment containing information claimed to be confidential business information, you should include a cover letter setting forth the information specified in NHTSA’s confidential business information regulation (49 CFR part 512). Will the agency consider late comments? NHTSA will consider all comments received before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated above under DATES. To the extent possible, the agency will also consider PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 65705 comments received after that date. Given that we intend for the policy document to be a living document and to be developed in an iterative fashion, subsequent opportunities to comment will also be provided periodically. How can I read the comments submitted by other people? You may read the comments received at the address given above under COMMENTS. The hours of the docket are indicated above in the same location. You may also see the comments on the Internet, identified by the docket number at the heading of this notice, at http://www.regulations.gov. Please note that, even after the comment closing date, NHTSA will continue to file relevant information in the docket as it becomes available. Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, the agency recommends that you periodically check the docket for new material. Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30101. Issued in Washington, DC, on September 20, 2016 under authority delegated in 49 CFR part 1.95. Nathaniel Beuse, Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety Research. [FR Doc. 2016–22993 Filed 9–22–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2016–0040] NHTSA Enforcement Guidance Bulletin 2016–02: Safety-Related Defects and Automated Safety Technologies National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation. ACTION: Final notice. AGENCY: Automotive technology is at a moment of rapid change and may evolve farther in the next decade than in the previous 45-plus year history of the Agency. As the automobile industry moves toward fully automated (selfdriving) vehicles and other innovative mobility solutions, NHTSA seeks to facilitate the advance of automated technologies that currently present safety improvements and that, in the future, are likely to improve safety and decrease the number of crashes, traffic fatalities, and serious injuries on U.S. roadways. NHTSA is commanded by Congress to protect the safety of the driving public against unreasonable risks of harm that may occur because of SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\23SEN1.SGM 23SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 185 (Friday, September 23, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 65703-65705]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-22993]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0090]


Request for Comment on ``Federal Automated Vehicles Policy''

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

ACTION: Notice and Request for Comments.

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

SUMMARY: NHTSA invites public comment on the document, ``Federal 
Automated Vehicles Policy.'' This document is intended as a starting 
point that provides needed initial guidance to industry, government, 
and consumers. It will necessarily evolve over time, changing based on 
public comment; the experience of the agency, manufacturers, suppliers, 
consumers, and others; and/or further technological innovation. NHTSA 
intends to revise and refine the document within one year, and 
periodically thereafter, to reflect such public input, experience, and 
innovation, and will address significant comments received in the next 
revision of this document.

DATES: You should submit your comments early enough to ensure that 
Docket Management receives them no later than November 22, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to the docket number above and be 
submitted by one of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building 
Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
     Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting 
comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the 
Public Participation heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section 
of this document. Note that all comments received will be posted 
without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided.
     Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form 
of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the 
individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted 
on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may 
review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register 
published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78) or at https://www.transportation.gov/privacy.
     Docket: For access to the docket to read background 
documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov or to 
the street address listed above. Follow the online instructions for 
accessing the dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  For technical issues: Mr. Frank 
Barickman, Team Leader at NHTSA's Vehicle Research and Test Center at 
(937) 666-4511 or by email at av_info_nhtsa@dot.gov.
    For legal issues: Mr. Steve Wood of NHTSA's Office of Chief 
Counsel, at (202) 366-2992 or by email at steve.wood@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:  The National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration (NHTSA), under the U.S. Department of Transportation, 
was established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970, to carry out safety 
programs under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 
1966 and the Highway Safety Act of 1966. NHTSA is responsible for 
reducing deaths, injuries, and economic losses resulting from motor 
vehicle crashes on our nation's roadways. This is accomplished by 
conducting research, setting and enforcing safety performance standards 
for motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment, generating and 
disseminating comparative safety performance information to encourage 
the production and purchase of advanced safety features, requiring the 
calling and remedying of defective and noncompliant vehicles and 
equipment, and by making grants to state and local governments to 
enable them to conduct effective local highway safety programs. Prior 
or in addition to issuing standards, NHTSA also issues guidance 
regarding motor vehicle safety issues.
    Over the past several decades, many important safety technologies 
have become standard equipment through regulation and voluntary 
industry action, and tremendous adjustments in consumer behavior about 
safety have been made through behavioral safety programs and the 
promotion of these programs by safety partners. Despite these efforts 
and the hundreds of thousands of lives saved attributable to these 
efforts, crashes still happen, and people are still injured and killed. 
35,092 people died on U.S. roadways in 2015. Moreover, NHTSA's data 
suggest that 94% of crashes can be tied to a human choice or 
behavior.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See Singh, S. (2015, February). Critical reasons for crashes 
investigated in the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey. 
(Traffic Safety Facts Crash Stats. Report No. DOT HS 812 115). 
Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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

[[Page 65704]]

    Technologies that can help drivers avoid crashes, or help vehicles 
themselves avoid crashes, are ushering in a new era of safety for the 
motoring public. As vehicle technologies take on more and more of the 
driving task--i.e., as vehicle automation progresses, enabled by radar, 
camera, sensors, and communications technologies, along with highly 
sophisticated computer systems and software to interpret and use the 
data obtained by the vehicle--these innovations are expected to begin 
to address and mitigate that overwhelming majority of crashes due to 
human choices or behavior.
    The term ``vehicle automation'' today refers to a spectrum of 
technologies, which can be grouped broadly into several levels. Some 
levels will only provide crash warnings to human drivers, or brake the 
vehicle automatically if the human driver fails to brake soon enough or 
hard enough, while higher levels will combine these abilities to create 
driver-assistance systems to reduce the demand of driving. At the very 
highest levels, the automated system itself (and not the human) may 
function as the ``driver'' of the vehicle. At each level, the safety 
potential grows as does the opportunity to improve mobility, reduce 
energy consumption and improve the livability of cities. To realize 
these tremendous benefits, NHTSA believes it should encourage the 
adoption of these technologies and support their safe introduction. At 
the same time, the remarkable speed with which increasingly complex 
technologies are evolving challenges NHTSA to use its full complement 
of tools to support the safe introduction of these technologies, so 
that they can provide the promised safety benefits today, and achieve 
their full safety potential in the future. To meet this challenge, 
NHTSA must continue to build its expertise and knowledge to keep pace 
with developments, expand its regulatory capability, and increase its 
speed of execution.
    After considerable input from a wide range of stakeholders, NHTSA 
has developed a new document titled ``Federal Automated Vehicles 
Policy.'' NHTSA is issuing this document as Agency guidance rather than 
in a rulemaking in order to speed the delivery of an initial regulatory 
framework and best practices to guide manufacturers and other entities 
in the safe design, development, testing, and deployment of highly 
automated vehicles (HAVs) and also to ensure that premature, static 
regulatory requirements do not hinder innovation and diffusion of the 
dynamic technologies that are being developed in the industry. The 
document is available at www.nhtsa.gov/AV (or at http://www.nhtsa.gov 
(search ``AV Policy'')), and also at http://www.regulations.gov (search 
Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0090). In the following pages, we divide the task 
of facilitating the safe introduction and deployment of HAVs into four 
sections: (1) Vehicle Performance Guidance for Highly Automated 
Vehicles; (2) Model State Policy; (3) NHTSA's Current Regulatory Tools; 
and (4) New Tools and Authorities.

Vehicle Performance Guidance for Highly Automated Vehicles

    The Vehicle Performance Guidance for Highly Automated Vehicles 
section outlines best practices for the safe pre-deployment design, 
development and testing of HAVs prior to commercial sale or operation 
on public roads. This Guidance defines ``deployment'' as the operation 
of an HAV by members of the public who are not the employees or agents 
of the designer, developer, or manufacturer of that HAV.
    This Guidance is intended to be an initial step to guide the safe 
designing, testing and deployment of HAVs. It sets DOT's expectations 
of industry by providing reasonable practices and procedures that 
manufacturers, suppliers, and other entities should follow in the 
immediate short term to design, test and deploy HAVs. The data 
generated from these activities should be shared in a way that allows 
government, industry, and the public to increase their learning and 
understanding as technology evolves but protects legitimate privacy and 
competitive interests.

Model State Policy

    The Model State Policy confirms that States retain their 
traditional responsibilities for vehicle licensing and registration, 
traffic laws and enforcement, and motor vehicle insurance and liability 
regimes while outlining the Federal role for HAVs. Today, a motorist 
generally can drive across state lines without a worry more complicated 
than, ``did the speed limit change?'' The integration of HAVs should 
not change that ability. Similarly, a manufacturer should be able to 
focus on developing a single HAV fleet that can be sold and used in all 
states. State governments play an important role in facilitating HAVs, 
ensuring they are safely deployed, and promoting their life-saving 
benefits. Since 2014, DOT has partnered with the American Association 
of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) to explore HAV policies. This 
collaboration was one of the bases for the Model State Policy framework 
presented here and identifies where new issues fit within the existing 
federal/state structure. The shared objective is to ensure the 
establishment of a consistent national framework that allows for 
different policies and approaches across States, while avoiding a 
patchwork of incompatible laws.

NHTSA's Current Regulatory Tools

    NHTSA will continue to exercise its available regulatory authority 
over HAVs using its existing regulatory tools, including 
interpretations, exemptions, notice-and-comment rulemaking, and defects 
and enforcement authority. NHTSA has broad authority to identify safety 
defects, allowing the Agency to recall vehicles or equipment that pose 
an unreasonable risk to safety even when there is no applicable Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS).
    To aid regulated entities and the public in understanding and using 
these tools (including for purposes related to the introduction of new 
HAVs), NHTSA has prepared a new information and guidance document, 
contained in Section III of the HAV Policy. This document provides 
instructions, practical guidance, and assistance to entities seeking to 
employ those tools. Furthermore, NHTSA has streamlined its review 
process and is committing to issuing simple HAV-related interpretations 
in 60 days, and ruling on simple HAV-related exemption requests in six 
months.
    NHTSA advises interested persons that, unlike the other sections of 
the HAV Policy, Section III is intended to have wider application 
outside the automated vehicles context. Persons interested in NHTSA's 
general practices and procedures for interpretations, exemptions, 
rulemaking, and reconsideration petitions may wish to review Section 
III and determine whether they wish to submit comments.

New Tools and Authorities

    The more effective use of NHTSA's existing regulatory tools will 
help to expedite the safe introduction and regulation of new HAVs. 
However, in part because today's governing statutes and regulations 
were developed when HAVs were only a remote notion, those tools alone 
may be insufficient to ensure that HAVs are introduced safely, and to 
realize the full safety promise of new technologies. The speed at which 
HAVs are advancing, combined with the

[[Page 65705]]

complexity and novelty of these innovations, will challenge the 
Agency's conventional regulatory processes and capabilities. This 
challenge requires NHTSA to examine whether the ways in which NHTSA has 
addressed safety for the last several decades should be expanded to 
realize the safety potential of HAVs over the decades to come.
    Therefore, Section IV of the HAV Policy identifies potential new 
tools, authorities, and regulatory approaches that could aid the safe 
deployment of new technologies by enabling the Agency to be more nimble 
and flexible. There will always be an important role for standards and 
testing protocols based on careful scientific research and developed 
through the give-and-take of an open public process. However, it is 
likely that additional regulatory tools along with new expertise and 
research also will be needed to allow the Agency to more quickly 
address safety challenges and speed the deployment of lifesaving 
technology.

Public Comment

    Although most of this policy is effective immediately upon 
publication, NHTSA is seeking public comment on the entire document. 
While the Agency sought input from various stakeholders during the 
development of the document, it recognizes that not all interested 
persons had a full opportunity to provide such input. Formal comments 
will allow for that opportunity.
    Similarly, some of the items in the vehicle performance guidance 
are subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act, which 
requires that the Agency provide separate notice and comment. The 
notice for those items will be published shortly at http://www.regulations.gov (search Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0091). Finally, NHTSA 
expects to hold public meetings and workshops associated with specific 
items in this Policy. Once the timing of those meetings has been 
finalized, Federal Register notices for those meetings will also be 
published.
    While the Policy is intended as a starting point that provides 
needed initial guidance to industry, government, and consumers, it will 
necessarily evolve over time to meet the changing needs and demands of 
improved safety and technology. Accordingly, NHTSA expects and intends 
the policy document and its guidance to be iterative, changing based on 
public comment; the experience of the agency, manufacturers, suppliers, 
consumers, and others; and further technological innovation. NHTSA 
intends to revise and refine the document regularly to reflect such 
experience, innovation, and public input.

Public Participation

How do I prepare and submit comments?

    Your comments must be written and in English. To ensure that your 
comments are filed correctly in the docket, please include the docket 
number of this document in your comments.
    Your comments must not be more than 15 pages long (49 CFR 553.21). 
NHTSA established this limit to encourage you to write your primary 
comments in a concise fashion. However, you may attach necessary 
additional documents to your comments. There is no limit on the length 
of the attachments.
    Please submit one copy (two copies if submitting by mail or hand 
delivery) of your comments, including the attachments, to the docket 
following the instructions given above under ADDRESSES. Please note, if 
you are submitting comments electronically as a PDF (Adobe) file, we 
ask that the documents submitted be scanned using an Optical Character 
Recognition (OCR) process, thus allowing the agency to search and copy 
certain portions of your submissions.

How do I submit confidential business information?

    If you wish to submit any information under a claim of 
confidentiality, you should submit three copies of your complete 
submission, including the information you claim to be confidential 
business information, to the Office of the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the 
address given above under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. In addition, 
you may submit a copy (two copies if submitting by mail or hand 
delivery), from which you have deleted the claimed confidential 
business information, to the docket by one of the methods given above 
under ADDRESSES. When you send a comment containing information claimed 
to be confidential business information, you should include a cover 
letter setting forth the information specified in NHTSA's confidential 
business information regulation (49 CFR part 512).

Will the agency consider late comments?

    NHTSA will consider all comments received before the close of 
business on the comment closing date indicated above under DATES. To 
the extent possible, the agency will also consider comments received 
after that date. Given that we intend for the policy document to be a 
living document and to be developed in an iterative fashion, subsequent 
opportunities to comment will also be provided periodically.

How can I read the comments submitted by other people?

    You may read the comments received at the address given above under 
COMMENTS. The hours of the docket are indicated above in the same 
location. You may also see the comments on the Internet, identified by 
the docket number at the heading of this notice, at http://www.regulations.gov.
    Please note that, even after the comment closing date, NHTSA will 
continue to file relevant information in the docket as it becomes 
available. Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, 
the agency recommends that you periodically check the docket for new 
material.

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30101.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 20, 2016 under authority 
delegated in 49 CFR part 1.95.
Nathaniel Beuse,
Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety Research.
[FR Doc. 2016-22993 Filed 9-22-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P