Hours of Service of Drivers: Pronto.ai, Inc., Application for Exemption, 60869-60871 [2020-21324]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 188 / Monday, September 28, 2020 / Notices construction in the Hillsborough MPO’s LRTP CFP. There is no funding in the current FDOT STIP or Hillsborough MPO’s TIP for any of the phases for the I–275/I–4 (Downtown) interchange. The FHWA’s action, related actions by other Federal agencies, and the laws under which such actions were taken, are described in the SEIS approved on September 15, 2020, and the ROD also approved on September 15, 2020, and other documents in the project file. The SEIS and ROD are available for review by contacting FHWA or FDOT at the addresses provided above. In addition, these documents can be viewed and downloaded from the project website at https://tampainterstatestudy.com/. This notice of limitation on claims pertains to final permit, license, and approval decisions made as part of the Supplemental EIS. The limitations on claims for final permit, license, and approval decisions made under previous RODs associated with the TIS project remain unaltered by this subsequent notice. The laws under which actions were taken include, but are not limited to: 1. General: National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) [42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.]; Federal–Aid Highway Act (FAHA) [23 U.S.C. 109 and 23 U.S.C. 128]; 23 CFR part 771. 2. Air: Clean Air Act (CAA) [42 U.S.C. 7401–7671(q)], with the exception of project level conformity determinations [42 U.S.C. 7506]. 3. Noise: Noise Control Act of 1972 [42 U.S.C. 4901–4918]; 23 CFR part 772. 4. Land: Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966 [23 U.S.C. 138 and 49 U.S.C. 303]; Landscaping and Scenic Enhancement (Wildflowers) [23 U.S.C. 319]; Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) [54 U.S.C. 200302–200310]; 23 CFR part 774. 5. Wildlife: Endangered Species Act (ESA) [16 U.S.C. 1531–1544 and 1536]; Marine Mammal Protection Act [16 U.S.C. 1361–1423h], Anadromous Fish Conservation Act [16 U.S.C. 757(a)– 757(f)]; Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act [16 U.S.C. 661–667(d)]; Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) [16 U.S.C. 703– 712]; Magnuson-Stevenson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976, as amended [16 U.S.C. 1801– 1891d], with Essential Fish Habitat requirements [16 U.S.C. 1855(b)(2)]. 6. Historic and Cultural Resources: Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended [54 U.S.C. 3006101 et seq.]; Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (ARPA) [16 U.S.C. 470(aa)– 470(II)]; Preservation of Historical and Archaeological Data [54 U.S.C. 312501– VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:25 Sep 25, 2020 Jkt 250001 312508]; Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) [25 U.S.C. 3001–3013; 18 U.S.C. 1170]; 7. Social and Economic: Civil Rights Act of 1964 [42 U.S.C. 2000d–2000d–1]; American Indian Religious Freedom Act [42 U.S.C. 1996]; Farmland Protection Policy Act (FPPA) [7 U.S.C. 4201–4209]. 8. Wetlands and Water Resources: Clean Water Act (Section 319, Section 401; Coastal Barriers Resources Act (CBRA) [16 U.S.C. 3501–3510]; Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) [16 U.S.C. 1451–1466]; Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) [42 U.S.C. 300f–300j–26]; Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 [33 U.S.C. 401–406]; Wild and Scenic Rivers Act [16 U.S.C. 1271–1287]; Emergency Wetlands Resources Act [16 U.S.C. 3921, 3931]; Wetlands Mitigation, [23 U.S.C. 119(g) and 133(b)(3)]; Flood Disaster Protection Act [42 U.S.C. 4001–4130]. 9. Hazardous Materials: Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) [42 U.S.C. 9601–9675]; Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA); Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) [42 U.S.C. 6901–6992(k)]. 10. Executive Orders: E.O. 11990 Protection of Wetlands; E.O. 11988 Floodplain Management; E.O. 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low Income Populations; E.O. 11593 Protection and Enhancement of Cultural Resources; E.O. 13007 Indian Sacred Sites; E.O. 13287 Preserve America; E.O. 13175 Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments; E.O. 11514 Protection and Enhancement of Environmental Quality; E.O. 13112 Invasive Species. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to this program.) Authority: 23 U.S.C. 139(l)(1). Issued on: September 17, 2020, Karen M. Brunelle, Director of Project Development, Tallahassee, Florida. [FR Doc. 2020–20932 Filed 9–25–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–RY–P PO 00000 Frm 00118 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60869 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2020–0116] Hours of Service of Drivers: Pronto.ai, Inc., Application for Exemption Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. AGENCY: Notice of final disposition; denial of exemption. ACTION: FMCSA announces its decision to deny Pronto.ai, Inc.’s (‘‘Pronto’’) application for an exemption from the 11-hour driving limit and the prohibition against driving after the 14th hour after coming on duty. Under the exemption, drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) equipped with the Copilot by Pronto advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), the SmartDrive® Video Safety Program, and operating under certain other safeguards, would be allowed to drive up to 13 hours during a work shift within 15 consecutive hours after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. FMCSA has analyzed the exemption application and the public comments and determined that the applicant has not demonstrated that the requested exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent the exemption. SUMMARY: This decision is applicable September 28, 2020. DATES: ADDRESSES: Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12–140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The on-line Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL–14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy. E:\FR\FM\28SEN1.SGM 28SEN1 60870 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 188 / Monday, September 28, 2020 / Notices Mr. Richard Clemente, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division: Telephone: (202) 366–4225. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366–9826. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Public Participation Viewing Comments and Documents To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, ‘‘FMCSA–2020–0116’’ in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box and click ‘‘Search.’’ Next, click the ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ button and choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 366–9317 or (202) 366–9826 before visiting Docket Operations. II. Legal Basis FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from certain Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted. The Agency must provide an opportunity for public comment on the request. The Agency reviews the safety analyses and public comments submitted and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The Agency’s decision must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)) with the reasons for denying or granting the application and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is granted. The notice must specify the effective period (up to 5 years) and explain its terms and conditions. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)). VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:25 Sep 25, 2020 Jkt 250001 III. Request for Exemption The hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for interstate drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) allow a period of 14 consecutive hours (49 CFR 395.3(a)(2)) in which to drive up to 11 hours (49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)) after being off duty for 10 or more consecutive hours. The 14consecutive-hour ‘‘driving window’’ begins when the driver starts any kind of work. Once the driver reaches the end of this 14-consecutive hour period, the driver cannot drive again until he/she has been off duty for another 10 consecutive hours, or, in the case of drivers using sleeper berths, the equivalent of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty. Pronto requests an exemption from the 11-hour limit and the 14-hour ‘‘driving window’’ on behalf of its customers operating CMVs equipped with the Copilot by Pronto advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), the SmartDrive® Video Safety Program, and operating with certain other safeguards discussed in the application. The exemption would allow drivers operating these CMVs to drive up to 13 hours within 15 hours after the beginning of the work shift, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. According to Pronto, its distinctive combination of advanced safety technologies would help reduce physical and mental driver stress, thereby allowing a modest increase in certain HOS parameters. Pronto believes that the same technologies would provide additional levels of safety by reducing the risk of the driver becoming drowsy or distracted and assist the driver in maintaining safe and proper control of the CMV. IV. Pronto’s Discussion of the Equivalent Level of Safety Pronto stated that drivers and carriers operating under the exemption would achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained by complying with the current regulation, as a result of safety improvements from: (1) Mandatory use of the most sophisticated ADAS system on the market, coupled with SmartDrive’s best-in-class videobased safety program and intelligence platform; (2) a significant increase in a driver’s physical comfort, resulting in less physical fatigue during a shift; (3) an active management approach to the technology roll-out with carriers and drivers, achieved through Pronto’s compulsory, full-day driver training program and the ability of SmartDrive’s platform to enable rapid identification PO 00000 Frm 00119 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 of drivers needing additional training; (4) Pronto’s unique ‘‘Safe Landing’’ feature that identifies highly inattentive or non-responsive drivers, and attempts to safely and gradually bring the truck to a complete stop; and (5) SmartDrive’s fatigue-monitoring and alerting system, SmartSense, which provides real-time in-cab alerts to the driver and triggers a video for immediate verification and intervention by the carrier. V. Public Comments On April 20, 2020, the Agency published a notice requesting public comment on Pronto’s exemption application (85 FR 21915). The Agency received more than 300 comments, primarily from individuals, but also from prominent industry trade groups. A total of 294 commenters opposed the exemption request. Opponents included the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety; California Highway Patrol; Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance; Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; Institute for Safe Trucking/Road Safe America; International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Owner-Operator Independent Driver’s Association; Transportation Trades Department American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO); Transport Workers Union of America AFL–CIO; Truckload Carriers Association; and the United States Transportation Alliance. Commenters that opposed the exemption believe the lack of safety metrics for ADAS poses a risk to the public. The commenters also noted the lack of a Federal framework to ensure that any transition to automated driving system technologies is done in a measured, secure, and responsible manner to protect people traveling on our roadways. Opponents of Pronto’s request also emphasized that the application would result in a needless threat to public safety by increasing the driving hours and extending the workday of CMV operators, and that the applicant failed to provide the required analysis and supporting information required by statute. Lastly, the opposing commenters believed that granting the exemption would give Pronto an unfair competitive advantage to carriers that utilize its product. Six commenters supported the exemption request, including Scopelitis Transportation Consulting. Supporters believe the exemption would be in line with the recent HOS changes proposed on August 22, 2019 (84 FR 44190) and adopted on June 1, 2020 (85 FR 33396). Another point emphasized by a supporting commenter was that the E:\FR\FM\28SEN1.SGM 28SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 188 / Monday, September 28, 2020 / Notices Agency could impose a list of conditions, if the exemption were granted, in addition to the conditions listed in Pronto’s own application. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration VI. FMCSA Decision [Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0215] The FMCSA’s HOS regulations set driving time limits for the work shift and prohibit driving after the 14th hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. The requirements are intended to reduce the risk of individuals experiencing fatigue during the work shift. FMCSA is not aware of data or information that would enable the Agency to determine whether the advanced technology described by Pronto reduces the workload for CMV drivers to such an extent that additional driving time during the work shift should be allowed, or that individuals should be allowed to operate an extended work shift. Neither Pronto nor commenters supporting the exemption application provided data or information that would help to explain why this exemption would not reduce safety. Based on the numerous research studies concerning fatigue and hours of service that the Agency has reviewed in recent years, we do not believe there is a basis for allowing individuals to drive up to 13 hours during a work shift, or operate after the 14th hour after coming on duty (except during adverse driving conditions). The premise that the use of advanced technology should reduce the workload on drivers appears reasonable on the surface but the absence of data or information to quantify the impact on driver fatigue and alertness leaves the Agency with no choice but to deny the application. In summary, after reviewing the application for an exemption and all the comments submitted to the public docket, FMCSA cannot ensure that the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulations. For these reasons, FMCSA denies the request for exemption. James W. Deck, Deputy Administrator. [FR Doc. 2020–21324 Filed 9–25–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:25 Sep 25, 2020 Jkt 250001 Hours of Service of Drivers: Right-AWay LLC.; Application for Exemption Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition; denial of application. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to deny an application from Right-A-Way, LLC (Right-A-Way) requesting an exemption from the requirement that its short-haul drivers use electronic logging devices (ELDs) when they are required to prepare records of duty status (RODS) more than eight days in a 30 consecutive day period. FMCSA has analyzed the exemption application and has determined that the applicant would not achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption. FMCSA therefore denies Right-A-Way’s application for exemption. SUMMARY: Ms. La Tonya Mimms, Chief, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; (202) 366–9220 MCPSD@ dot.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background Currently, 49 CFR 395.1(e) provides exceptions from the requirement to prepare records of duty status (RODS) for drivers operating in short-haul operations, provided certain conditions are satisfied. Section 395.8(a)(1)(iii)(A)(1) allows motor carriers to require drivers to record drivers’ duty status manually rather than use an ELD, if the drivers are operating commercial motor vehicles ‘‘in a manner requiring completion of a record of duty status not more than 8 days within any 30-day period.’’ Drivers operating in short-haul operations are not required to prepare RODS, except for the days when they do not satisfy all the criteria provided in 49 CFR 395.1(e). These drivers may prepare paper RODS for those occasions as long as RODS are not required more than 8 days in a 30day period. For operations where the short-haul drivers fail to satisfy the applicable criteria more than eight days in a 30-day period, the carrier and its drivers would be required to use ELDs. PO 00000 Frm 00120 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60871 II. Request for Exemption Right-A-Way explained that it is a pipeline contract service company who sub-contracts to maintain the pipeline’s right-of-way corridor above ground. Right-A-Way’s operation covers refined products, crude oil and natural gas covering 2,500 miles of pipeline in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Colorado, with anticipated expansion to Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming. In addition, Right-A-Way maintains 1,100 miles of ammonia pipline that services the agricultural demand center in the Midwest. Right-A-Way is requesting an exemption from the requirement to use ELDs when its drivers do not satisfy all the criteria for the short-haul exception to the RODS requirement. The exemption would enable the company’s short-haul drivers to use paper RODS rather than ELDs for more than 8 days in a 30-day period. The applicant requested the exemption be granted for 5 years. The exemption if granted, would cover approximately eight drivers and eight CMVs. The applicant believes that its operation is similar to the operations provided by drivers of utility service vehicles. Right-A-Way wrote that FMCSA determined there was no compelling safety argument to include drivers engaged in short-haul operations in the ELD requirements, and emphasized that Part 395 already provides some industry-specific exceptions for certain operations, including, oilfield operations, pipeline wielding trucks, and utility service vehicles. The applicant contends that these exceptions and exemptions reflect the unique operating conditions of these industries, and assessment by Congress or FMCSA that the exceptions do not raise a compelling hazard. To ensure an equivalent or greater level of safety absent the granted exemption, Right-A-Way offers daily safety training on all hazards on the job and driving conditions to its drivers and crews. A copy of the exemption application is included in the docket for this notice.1 III. Public Comments On April 28, 2020, FMCSA published notice of the application for exemption and asked for public comment (85 FR 23592). There were no comments submitted to the docket. 1 You may view the notice and its supporting documentation online at https:// www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0215. E:\FR\FM\28SEN1.SGM 28SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 188 (Monday, September 28, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 60869-60871]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-21324]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2020-0116]


Hours of Service of Drivers: Pronto.ai, Inc., Application for 
Exemption

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of final disposition; denial of exemption.

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to deny Pronto.ai, Inc.'s 
(``Pronto'') application for an exemption from the 11-hour driving 
limit and the prohibition against driving after the 14th hour after 
coming on duty. Under the exemption, drivers of commercial motor 
vehicles (CMVs) equipped with the Copilot by Pronto advanced driver 
assistance systems (ADAS), the SmartDrive[supreg] Video Safety Program, 
and operating under certain other safeguards, would be allowed to drive 
up to 13 hours during a work shift within 15 consecutive hours after 
coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. FMCSA has 
analyzed the exemption application and the public comments and 
determined that the applicant has not demonstrated that the requested 
exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, 
or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent the exemption.

DATES: This decision is applicable September 28, 2020.

ADDRESSES: 
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12-140 
on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The on-line Federal Docket Management System 
(FDMS) is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year.
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits 
comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT 
posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information 
the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the 
system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
www.dot.gov/privacy.

[[Page 60870]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Richard Clemente, FMCSA Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division: Telephone: (202) 366-4225. Email: 
[email protected]dot.gov. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material 
to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Public Participation

Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble 
as being available in the docket, go to www.regulations.gov and insert 
the docket number, ``FMCSA-2020-0116'' in the ``Keyword'' box and click 
``Search.'' Next, click the ``Open Docket Folder'' button and choose 
the document to review. If you do not have access to the internet, you 
may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility 
in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. To be sure 
someone is there to help you, please call (202) 366-9317 or (202) 366-
9826 before visiting Docket Operations.

II. Legal Basis

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from certain Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 
(FMCSRs). FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the 
Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the 
public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the 
application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted. 
The Agency must provide an opportunity for public comment on the 
request.
    The Agency reviews the safety analyses and public comments 
submitted and determines whether granting the exemption would likely 
achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level 
that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The 
Agency's decision must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 
381.315(b)) with the reasons for denying or granting the application 
and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving 
the exemption, and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is 
granted. The notice must specify the effective period (up to 5 years) 
and explain its terms and conditions. The exemption may be renewed (49 
CFR 381.300(b)).

III. Request for Exemption

    The hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for interstate drivers of 
property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) allow a period of 14 
consecutive hours (49 CFR 395.3(a)(2)) in which to drive up to 11 hours 
(49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)) after being off duty for 10 or more consecutive 
hours. The 14-consecutive-hour ``driving window'' begins when the 
driver starts any kind of work. Once the driver reaches the end of this 
14-consecutive hour period, the driver cannot drive again until he/she 
has been off duty for another 10 consecutive hours, or, in the case of 
drivers using sleeper berths, the equivalent of at least 10 consecutive 
hours off duty.
    Pronto requests an exemption from the 11-hour limit and the 14-hour 
``driving window'' on behalf of its customers operating CMVs equipped 
with the Copilot by Pronto advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), 
the SmartDrive[supreg] Video Safety Program, and operating with certain 
other safeguards discussed in the application. The exemption would 
allow drivers operating these CMVs to drive up to 13 hours within 15 
hours after the beginning of the work shift, following 10 consecutive 
hours off duty. According to Pronto, its distinctive combination of 
advanced safety technologies would help reduce physical and mental 
driver stress, thereby allowing a modest increase in certain HOS 
parameters. Pronto believes that the same technologies would provide 
additional levels of safety by reducing the risk of the driver becoming 
drowsy or distracted and assist the driver in maintaining safe and 
proper control of the CMV.

IV. Pronto's Discussion of the Equivalent Level of Safety

    Pronto stated that drivers and carriers operating under the 
exemption would achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater 
than, the level of safety that would be obtained by complying with the 
current regulation, as a result of safety improvements from: (1) 
Mandatory use of the most sophisticated ADAS system on the market, 
coupled with SmartDrive's best-in-class video-based safety program and 
intelligence platform; (2) a significant increase in a driver's 
physical comfort, resulting in less physical fatigue during a shift; 
(3) an active management approach to the technology roll-out with 
carriers and drivers, achieved through Pronto's compulsory, full-day 
driver training program and the ability of SmartDrive's platform to 
enable rapid identification of drivers needing additional training; (4) 
Pronto's unique ``Safe Landing'' feature that identifies highly 
inattentive or non-responsive drivers, and attempts to safely and 
gradually bring the truck to a complete stop; and (5) SmartDrive's 
fatigue-monitoring and alerting system, SmartSense, which provides 
real-time in-cab alerts to the driver and triggers a video for 
immediate verification and intervention by the carrier.

V. Public Comments

    On April 20, 2020, the Agency published a notice requesting public 
comment on Pronto's exemption application (85 FR 21915). The Agency 
received more than 300 comments, primarily from individuals, but also 
from prominent industry trade groups. A total of 294 commenters opposed 
the exemption request. Opponents included the Advocates for Highway and 
Auto Safety; California Highway Patrol; Commercial Vehicle Safety 
Alliance; Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; Institute for Safe 
Trucking/Road Safe America; International Brotherhood of Teamsters; 
Owner-Operator Independent Driver's Association; Transportation Trades 
Department American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial 
Organizations (AFL-CIO); Transport Workers Union of America AFL-CIO; 
Truckload Carriers Association; and the United States Transportation 
Alliance.
    Commenters that opposed the exemption believe the lack of safety 
metrics for ADAS poses a risk to the public. The commenters also noted 
the lack of a Federal framework to ensure that any transition to 
automated driving system technologies is done in a measured, secure, 
and responsible manner to protect people traveling on our roadways.
    Opponents of Pronto's request also emphasized that the application 
would result in a needless threat to public safety by increasing the 
driving hours and extending the workday of CMV operators, and that the 
applicant failed to provide the required analysis and supporting 
information required by statute. Lastly, the opposing commenters 
believed that granting the exemption would give Pronto an unfair 
competitive advantage to carriers that utilize its product.
    Six commenters supported the exemption request, including 
Scopelitis Transportation Consulting. Supporters believe the exemption 
would be in line with the recent HOS changes proposed on August 22, 
2019 (84 FR 44190) and adopted on June 1, 2020 (85 FR 33396). Another 
point emphasized by a supporting commenter was that the

[[Page 60871]]

Agency could impose a list of conditions, if the exemption were 
granted, in addition to the conditions listed in Pronto's own 
application.

VI. FMCSA Decision

    The FMCSA's HOS regulations set driving time limits for the work 
shift and prohibit driving after the 14th hour after coming on duty, 
following 10 consecutive hours off duty. The requirements are intended 
to reduce the risk of individuals experiencing fatigue during the work 
shift. FMCSA is not aware of data or information that would enable the 
Agency to determine whether the advanced technology described by Pronto 
reduces the workload for CMV drivers to such an extent that additional 
driving time during the work shift should be allowed, or that 
individuals should be allowed to operate an extended work shift. 
Neither Pronto nor commenters supporting the exemption application 
provided data or information that would help to explain why this 
exemption would not reduce safety.
    Based on the numerous research studies concerning fatigue and hours 
of service that the Agency has reviewed in recent years, we do not 
believe there is a basis for allowing individuals to drive up to 13 
hours during a work shift, or operate after the 14th hour after coming 
on duty (except during adverse driving conditions). The premise that 
the use of advanced technology should reduce the workload on drivers 
appears reasonable on the surface but the absence of data or 
information to quantify the impact on driver fatigue and alertness 
leaves the Agency with no choice but to deny the application.
    In summary, after reviewing the application for an exemption and 
all the comments submitted to the public docket, FMCSA cannot ensure 
that the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent 
to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current 
regulations.
    For these reasons, FMCSA denies the request for exemption.

James W. Deck,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2020-21324 Filed 9-25-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P